1) What is periodontal disease?
‘Peri’ means around and ‘dontal’ refers to teeth. So, periodontal disease is an infection of the gums, periodontal ligament and alveolar bones surrounding the teeth area. The early stage of the disease is known as gingivitis wherein the gums of the teeth gets affected with the infection. As the infection spreads to the other parts of the mouth, jaw and teeth it develops into something more serious resulting in symptoms like bleeding, swollen, sore and painful gums. It occurs due to leftover food particles trapped in the spaces between teeth and gums. When left uncleaned for long, they result in multiplication of germ causing bacteria in the mouth.
2) How is periodontal disease diagnosed?
A visit to the dentist will enable you to diagnose if you have periodontal disease or not and its severity levels. A dentist may help you check your dental history and check if symptoms like smoking, medication or some unhealthy eating habits are the underlying causes to be held responsible for the problem. He would check-up for plaque, tartar and bacteria built up in the mouth and also look for any deeper pockets made between gums and teeth with the help of tools and x-ray to determine the real cause and intensity of the disease.
3) Signs of periodontal disease
Look out for these signs if you suspect yourself to be suffering from periodontal infection or diseases. Bleeding or swollen gums, redness of gums or change in the appearance of gums from pink to dark purple, gums that bleed easily, gums that have turned soft and are painful to touch, spaces being developed between teeth, pus in the area between teeth and gums, bad breath, tooth abrasion or loose teeth, pain in the tooth and gum area while chewing, receding gums that are making your teeth look long and a change in the way the bite fits into your mouth.
4) Can periodontal disease be prevented?
With proper care and following healthy oral care habits can help prevent the disease. Brushing your teeth properly followed by flossing goes a long way in keeping your mouth, teeth and gums germs and bacteria free. Flossing helps get tiny food particles trapped in the spaces between teeth and gums out where the brush can’t reach. Removal of plaque and tartar is the key to keeping your teeth and gums infection free. Therefore, using an antibacterial toothpaste is always recommended as it helps control the spread and further accumulation of bacteria in the mouth.
5) What are some of the treatments that my dentist might recommend for periodontal disease?
A regular dental care check-up and visit to your dentist will help diagnose the problem at the early stages. Alternatively, doing so will help clean all the accumulated tartar and plaque from the surface of the teeth. A professional dentist would also suggest you to keep the health of your teeth and gums intact by regularly following the brushing and flossing routine. It will help clean food debris from deep within and keep your mouth clean and germ causing bacteria free. If the situation is of severe kind, the dentist will use tools and equipment to help clean the deep pockets within the space between your gum and teeth to make them smooth and diseases and infection free.
6) What happens after I receive treatment for periodontal disease?
While treatment for the disease may help you get rid of the immediate problem at hand, not taking care of your teeth and gum properly may again make the infection make a revisit. To keep your teeth and gums healthy all the time, a proper oral hygiene regime must always be followed, irrespective of the disease or infection you might have had. Using a quality toothpaste to brush your teeth twice daily will help control and prevent accumulation of germ and plaque causing bacteria in the mouth. A routine of flossing, post brushing, will help clear any food debris left inside the mouth or in the pockets between teeth and gums and keep the mouth healthy and clean to keep all dental problems away.
7) Can periodontal disease contribute to health problems beyond the mouth?
Not taking proper care of your gums, teeth and overall mouth can result in some serious complications, going forward. The bacteria and germs collected in the mouth, gums and teeth spreads across the body causing some serious health issues. From cavities, teeth decay to severe infection in the mouth & gum area and teeth abrasion; any kind of problem in the mouth gives birth to pain that can be unbearable and even fatal in near future. Research even says, people with serious tooth diseases like periodontitis are more likely to get heart problems, dementia and respiratory diseases compared to those who don’t have it.