periodontal disease

Up to 80 percent of adults in America have periodontal disease but most are unaware of it. That is because they are likely still in the early stages when the disease is normally painless and presents few symptoms.

Periodontal, which literally means “around the tooth”, is the name of a potentially serious dental disorder that erodes the gum lines. It also destroys the bones that provide essential support to the teeth.

Plaque and tartar are the two main culprits in periodontal disease. Plaque contains a combination of bacteria, saliva, and leftover particles of food. It forms a sticky film that can turn into tartar, also called calculus, when it remains in the mouth over an extended time. When both plaque and tartar build up, they begin to destroy the gums and supporting bones.

Along with practicing good oral hygiene at home, it’s important to visit the dentist on schedule and eat a balanced diet to reduce your own risk.

Symptoms and Complications of Periodontal Disease

The sooner you detect signs of possible periodontal disease, the easier it is to halt its progression and reverse the damage. Indications that you may have the disease include:

• Bleeding after brushing or flossing: If you spot blood on your toothbrush or strip of dental floss, be sure to mention this to Dr. Qureshi. Your gums should never bleed during normal oral hygiene routines.
• Pain or tenderness in the teeth or gums: This may be caused by too much plaque, tartar, or bacteria in the mouth.
• One or more loose teeth: Your teeth may feel loose due to damage to the fibers that connect the bone to the tooth.
• Swollen gums: A red or puffy appearance to your gums is a strong indicator of periodontal disease.
• New gaps appear between teeth: If there is space between your teeth that wasn’t there before, it is likely due to bone loss.
• Loss of gum tissue: If the gum line around one or more of your teeth is receding, please let us know right away.
• Appearance of pus: Any pus erupting from your gums or teeth indicates an infection.
• Halitosis: If you have chronic bad breath even though your brush, floss, and use mouthwash regularly, it could mean you are developing the disease.

Besides oral health complications, medical research supports a connection between periodontal disease and bacterial pneumonia, cardiovascular disease, diabetes, pregnancy complications, and stroke.

Avoid Tooth Loss and Protect Your Overall Health

If you recognize any of the above symptoms, schedule an appointment with Healthy Smiles of La Grange, IL right away. We also encourage you to keep up with your bi-annual exam and cleaning to stay one step ahead of periodontal disease.