Did you know, many people in the US currently have some form of periodontal (gum) disease? Periodontal diseases range from simple gum inflammation to more serious diseases that can damage bone and soft tissue that support the teeth. Whether or not you experience the affects of worsening gum disease is largely dependent on how you care for your teeth from now on.
What causes periodontal disease?
You can be genetically predisposed to developing periodontal disease—meaning—the disease can run in your family. That doesn’t mean you will get it and there’s nothing you can do about it, however. It’s always coupled with poor dental hygiene or dental negligence.
Does periodontal disease hurt?
No one wants to feel pain. I know I certainly don’t. But one of the reasons periodontal disease is tricky is that it rarely causes pain until it has progressed to a pretty severe state with acute infection in the mouth. So, unless you get checked regularly by your dentist, you won’t know you have a problem. Periodontal disease doesn’t hurt until you have a fairly severe case.
What bad habits can people avoid to prevent periodontal disease?
Dental negligence is the biggest risk factor. If you already have periodontal disease, smoking can exacerbate it, so don’t smoke!
What’s the best way to prevent periodontal disease?
If you don’t already, make sure you see your dentist regularly. Every 6 months is perfect. Your dentist can evaluate your periodontal health and make recommendations accordingly. Also, we (dentists and dental hygienists) care about your dental health. When we give you a routine to follow (mouthwash, brushing, flossing, etc.), listen to us. You’ll LOVE how great your mouth feels when it’s clean and healthy. It’s really important that your mouth health is stellar. Periodontal disease, moderate to severe, is closely affiliated with heart disease, diabetes, and problems with pregnancy.
Can periodontal disease lead to other dental issues?
Short answer: YES. Periodontal disease can cause you to lose your teeth and even lose bone structure as it progresses.
Is periodontal disease curable?
Unfortunately, the damage that periodontal disease causes is not curable. We can’t add back lost bone. It’s so important to see your dentist regularly so you can prevent the disease, as that’s the best way to combat periodontal disease. If you do have periodontal disease, only your dentist will be able to diagnose it, and he or she will also be able to give you a regimen to follow that will help prevent further damage caused by periodontal disease.
See your dentist regularly, take care of your teeth and mouth at home, and try to always remember how nice your mouth feels when it’s clean so you don’t neglect your dental health on your own time.
Let us know if you have any questions. Your smile is our commitment to you.