4 FAQs About Periodontal Disease

toothbrush with blood on it

According to recent research conducted by the Center for Disease Control and Prevention, about half of American adults have periodontal disease. This oral condition is a bacterial infection of the gums that can have detrimental impacts on your mouth when it’s left untreated. When harmful oral bacteria are left to accumulate, they release toxins that cause your gums to become inflamed, swollen, and irritated. These toxins can also get into your bloodstream and have been connected to an increased risk of a variety of health problems such as heart disease, Alzheimer’s, and respiratory infections. Knowing the basics about periodontal disease can allow you to treat it before it advances. Read on to get some answers to commonly asked questions about the condition.

What are the Symptoms of Gum Disease?

There are multiple stages of gum disease that present different symptoms. Early on, you may notice that your gums bleed when you floss or brush. They’ll also appear swollen, inflamed, and feel tender. When you visit your dentist for a routine checkup and cleaning, they can alert you to whether pockets of bacteria are forming in your gums. Some more advanced symptoms of they may find include:

  • Pus pockets between gums and teeth.
  • Loose teeth.
  • Tooth loss.
  • Receding gums.
  • Oral sores.
  • Chronic bad breath.

How Can I Treat My Gum Disease?

When you spot periodontal disease in its earlier stages, you can seek treatment and reverse the symptoms. Your dentist most likely offers non-surgical gum therapy or deep cleanings that can help reduce the number of harmful oral bacteria in your mouth that are causing your symptoms. They can also help you tweak your at-home dental routine to better combat the disease.

How Can I Prevent Gum Disease From Developing?

Preventing periodontal disease is actually easier than it may seem. Because it’s caused by harmful oral bacteria accumulating, brushing and flossing routinely is one of the best ways you can protect yourself at home. If you are experiencing symptoms, visit your dentist as soon as possible to learn whether they’re a product of the condition. Be sure to get a professional checkup and cleaning every six months to clear the nooks and crannies of your mouth of any bacteria that you can’t get to at home with a regular toothbrush.

What Happens if I Don’t Treat My Gum Disease?

When gum disease isn’t treated, it can result in tooth loss and serious infections that have the ability to spread to other areas of your body. Studies have linked the toxins that cause inflammation of the gums to heart and respiratory problems. Also, there have been recent findings that these toxins are also connected to the formation of Alzheimer’s disease. Having your gums treated by your dentist and getting routine checkups is vital to ensuring your overall wellbeing and preventing serious issues down the road.

About the Author

Dr. Gene Gutman has been ensuring his patients’ gum and teeth health are in optimal condition since 1987. He’s passionate about providing his patients with relief from any oral discomfort or conditions they may be experiencing, which is why he offers treatments like gum disease therapy. He provides everybody that walks through his doors with high-quality, individualized care. For questions or to schedule an appointment, visit Perfect Smiles of Bensalem’s website or contact 215-752-5911.