Periodontal disease, otherwise known as gum disease is far from uncommon. Many adults, especially in the United States, suffer from some sort of gum disease. Periodontal diseases can present themselves in numerous ways, ranging from a simple gum inflammation to major damage to the soft tissue and the gum. If periodontal diseases are left untreated, they can sometimes even lead to tooth loss. Here are some signs, risk factors, and treatments for periodontal diseases.
Early Signs of Gum Disease
Gum disease doesn’t often go left unnoticed. It presents itself early on in several different ways. Some of these early signs include:
– constant bad breath
– swollen gums
– pain when chewing
– sensitive teeth
– tender or bleeding gums
– receding gums
– longer appearing teeth
Any of these symptoms can be a sign that there is a periodontal disease present. Regularly examining your teeth and gums can help catch and identify these conditions early on before the damage becomes extensive.
While not everyone can prevent getting gum disease, some factors increase the risk. Some of these risk factors include:
– Smoking: One of the most significant risk factors associated with periodontal diseases is smoking. If a patient continues to smoke during treatment, his or her chances of a successful recovery decrease significantly.
– Hormonal changes within women/girls: changing hormones can cause women’s gums to become more sensitive, which means that hormonal changes caused by puberty and pregnancy can make it easy to develop periodontal diseases.
– Medications: There are hundreds of medications that cause the reduction of saliva in the mouth. Saliva is what protects the mouth and gums from harmful bacteria. This means that without enough saliva, your mouth becomes vulnerable to infections.
– Genetics: Sometimes there is nothing a person can do to prevent gum disease. While gum disease itself isn’t genetic, being more susceptible to getting it is. Some families are more prone to gum disease than others.
The main goal when it comes to treating gum disease is to control the infection. There are a number of treatment options available, all depending on the severity of the disease. Any treatment requires patients to practice good daily hygiene care at home. Also, patients may have to quit certain behaviors as a way to improve the outcome of the treatment.
Taking care of your teeth is important if you want to help prevent periodontal diseases. By practicing proper dental hygiene at home your chances of developing gum disease decrease significantly. If you notice any of these early warning signs of gum disease, it may be time to contact your dental professional.