Periodontal Maintenance – Understanding Periodontal (Gum) Disease

Periodontal Maintenance – Understanding Periodontal (Gum) Disease

Having a healthy mouth is important to your overall health. Dental issues can indicate or lead to other serious health issues, so having a great smile goes beyond aesthetic reasons. Understanding periodontal disease and its warning signs help you recognize minor issues before they become major problems.

Periodontal disease explained

Also called gum disease, periodontal disease is an infection that affects the bone and tissues supporting your teeth. In a healthy mouth, the gum tissue fits like a cuff around your teeth, but with periodontal disease, the gums pull away from the teeth. If left untreated, gum disease worsens and can lead to teeth falling out or requiring extraction. Addressing gum disease at the first signs is vital to preventing tooth loss.

Health issues and gum disease

Those patients more likely to suffer from periodontal disease include people with heart disease, diabetes, high stress levels, and stroke survivors. While the links between periodontal disease and other health issues require further research, it’s certain that an unhealthy mouth is a symptom or result of underlying problems.

Warning signs

Periodontal disease doesn’t always come with warning signs, which is why it’s so important to practice good oral hygiene and have regular dental checkups. The warning signs of gum disease can include the following:

  • Bleeding gums when brushing or flossing
  • Tender, swollen, and/or red gums
  • Gums pulling away from teeth
  • Change in bite
  • Pus between gums and teeth
  • Change in denture fit

Now that you know what periodontal disease is and the warning signs, you understand the importance of regular dental visits and maintaining a healthy mouth. In our next installment we’ll discuss what causes gum disease and the known risk factors that increase your chances of having it.