Periodontal Disease — What You Need To Know

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Periodontal disease is something that affects millions of Americans each year, including children and adults alike, and it can come and go depending on how well you tend to your dental hygiene. People are generally more at risk of developing periodontal disease if they don’t see a dentist or technician for regular dental cleanings, but it’s possible for people to develop the condition even when getting extra dental health care. It’s also very possible to develop periodontal disease without realizing it.

The phrase “periodontal disease” sounds a little scary, probably largely because most people are unfamiliar with what it means. But you’ve actually heard quite a bit about this dental hygiene problem — it’s also called gum disease, and it’s linked to gingivitis.

Here are a few more things you should know about this common oral health concern:

  • Periodontal/gum disease is an infection and it’s typically caused by food particles that get stuck in between teeth, or even the the surface of teeth.

  • Gingivitis will appear when too much bacteria collects on the surface of teeth and turns into a hardened substance called plaque. Plaque buildup will cause the gums to get red, swollen, and sometimes start bleeding.

  • When bacteria collects and the body tries to fight off an infection, the gums get inflamed and become red and sore. As more bacteria collects on the teeth themselves, tooth enamel begins wearing down, causing teeth to become sensitive and painful.

  • Gum disease is often a result of not brushing and flossing enough, and it’s possible to get rid of the condition simply by revamping your dental hygiene care. It may also be a sign of other health conditions, like diabetes or heart disease.

  • When periodontal disease becomes severe, it’s called periodontitis. At this stage, the gums will inflame so much that small pockets are formed in between the teeth and the gums, which — naturally — creates more opportunities for food and bacteria to collect. When periodontitis appears, it’s essential to get professional dental care ASAP.

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