Many serious oral health issues, including tooth loss, begin with periodontal disease. The term perio means around in Latin while dontal refers to the tooth. Also known as gum disease, periodontal disease is both common and preventable.
How to Recognize Periodontal Disease
Every person has bacteria in their mouth, but you can eliminate most of it through regular brushing, flossing, mouthwash use, and preventive care exams. When bacteria grows unchecked, it penetrates the gum surface and leads to an infection. The bone and gum tissue erode as the disease progresses and both may eventually be destroyed. This causes teeth to become loose, which in turn can lead to tooth loss. A tooth this badly decayed normally must be extracted.
The following are common signs of gum disease:
- Your gum line has receded
- Your gums bleed when you brush or floss your teeth
- Chronic bad breath despite brushing and using mouthwash
- Non-healing sores in your mouth
- Red or swollen appearance to your gums
- One or more teeth feels loose
Prevention and Treatment of Gum Disease
According to the American Academy of Periodontology, more than half of the adults in this country have some form of gum disease. That’s the bad news. The good news is that it can be diagnosed and treated early for people who keep their bi-annual preventive care appointments. If Dr. Caceres diagnoses gum disease, he will instruct you on caring for your teeth and gums at home as part of his commitment to a conservative, non-surgical gum therapy program. More advanced cases of gum disease may require surgery to treat the infection and loss of bone.
The bacteria present in periodontal disease can travel to the rest of your body and increase your risk of heart disease and diabetes. This makes prevention and prompt treatment of this common dental disease especially critical.