What Is Periodontal (Gum) Disease?



Your oral health is important. To keep your mouth healthy, it is recommended that you brush your teeth at least twice a day and floss at least once a day. In addition to these steps, it is also recommended that you have your teeth professionally cleaned and examined at least every six months. All of these steps are critical for the prevention of serious oral health conditions including periodontal, or gum, disease. If periodontal disease does occur, Bijan Family Dental Practice is here to help.

What Is Periodontal Disease?


Periodontal disease, often referred to as gum disease, is a serious oral health condition that can have detrimental effects. However, when it first starts, you might never even know that you have it. Periodontal disease begins when plaque and bacteria accumulate on your teeth, which irritates your gum tissue. Irritation leads to inflammation. Swollen gums begin to pull away from the surfaces of your teeth, leading to the formation of periodontal pockets. Bacteria fall into these pockets, where they continue attacking the gums and begin attacking the periodontal ligaments and jawbone. Over time, these structures weaken, and your teeth become unstable. Bacteria may even enter into the bloodstream, where it can travel throughout the body, causing health issues like heart disease and stroke.

What Causes Periodontal Disease?


There are several different issues that can lead to the development of periodontal disease:
•  Poor oral hygiene. This is one of the biggest causes. Even occasionally skipping out on brushing or flossing can lead to an overabundance of plaque and bacteria in your mouth.
•  Misaligned teeth. Poorly aligned teeth are more difficult to clean properly. Any areas of accumulation can lead to irritation and inflammation.
•  Using tobacco products. Cigarettes and other tobacco products contain numerous harmful chemicals that can lead to several serious issues, including contributing to periodontal disease. These chemicals slow blood flow and limit oxygen in the blood. Treatment can be less effective for those who smoke or use other tobacco products as well.
•  Dry mouth. This is a condition in which the mouth does not have enough saliva, leaving it feeling dry and tacky. This environment is ideal for bacterial growth. Dry mouth can be caused by several issues, including alcohol, smoking, certain types of medications and some types of medical conditions.

Symptoms to Watch for


The symptoms of periodontal disease vary based on how advanced the condition is. Red, swollen gums that bleed when you brush and floss is the first indication that something is wrong. However, not all people with this early stage of periodontal disease notice these symptoms. Others think they are caused by aggressive brushing. As a result, the early stage goes untreated. As gum disease progresses, you begin to notice other symptoms as well:
•  Gum recession. Your teeth begin to appear longer, and you might start to notice small spaces forming between your teeth.
•  Tooth sensitivity. This is often a result of root exposure.
•  Chronic bad breath, or bad breath that does not go away no matter what you do.
•  Your teeth start to become unstable and loose. This can lead to alignment issues.
•  Tooth loss.

Treatment Options for Periodontal Disease


Periodontal disease can be treated. The type of treatment you receive depends on the severity of the condition. Common treatments include:
•  Scaling and root planing.
•  Laser therapy.
•  Periodontal maintenance.
•  Pocket reduction surgery.
•  Osseous surgery.
•  Gum and bone grafting.

Treating periodontal disease is essential for stopping the condition in its tracks and restoring your oral health. For more information, and to schedule your appointment, call Bijan Family Dental Practice at (714) 421-4494 today.

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(714) 421-4494

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bmdds@toothsleuth.com

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Bijan Modjtahedi, DDS | www.toothsleuth.com | (714) 421-4494
18109 Magnolia St, Fountain Valley, CA 92708
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