Symptoms of Periodontal Disease
The American Dental Association, or ADA, recommends that, for optimal oral health, you brush your teeth at least twice a day and floss at least once every day. They also recommend that you have twice yearly professional cleanings and exams. Skipping any part of your oral hygiene routine can quickly lead to serious oral health problems, including periodontal disease. At Oregon Periodontics, P.C., we can help to restore the health of your mouth when your mouth is affected by periodontal disease. We can also help you to recognize the symptoms so that you can take action quickly.
What Is Periodontal Disease?
Periodontal disease, more commonly known as gum disease, is a progressive condition that affects the health of your gums, your teeth, and their supporting structures. It starts small, barely noticeable. It occurs when a buildup of plaque and oral bacteria irritate your sensitive gum tissue. The tissue becomes inflamed, a result of an inflammatory response. Eventually, the gums begin to pull away from the teeth, and pockets form. Bacteria and other debris get trapped below the gumline. Bacteria begin attacking periodontal ligaments and your jawbone, weakening them. Untreated, your teeth become loose and can even fall out.
Symptoms of Periodontal Disease
There are several different symptoms of periodontal disease, and the symptoms you experience will vary based on the severity of your condition. In the earliest stages, you might notice nothing. Others may notice some redness and swelling, and may even see bleeding gums when they brush or floss. Often, these issues are attributed to aggressive brushing, and therefore ignored. Other symptoms of periodontal disease include:
|Gum recession. As the gum tissue pulls away from its snug position against your teeth, the tissue begins to die. Pockets grow deeper as more tissue pulls away. The gumline recedes down the teeth, exposing more and more of their surface area. Your teeth appear longer than natural, and you may start to notice small gaps appearing between your teeth. Eventually, the roots may become exposed, which can lead to severe tooth sensitivity.
|Chronic bad breath. When pockets form, bacteria and other debris fall into them, and they get trapped below the gumline. There, they cannot be removed, no matter how much brushing or flossing you do, how much mouthwash you use, or how many breath mints you eat.
|Your teeth become loose. When the bacteria attack your periodontal ligaments and jawbone, these supporting structures become weak. As a result, your teeth loosen. They may even begin to shift out of their natural alignment, which can throw off your bite and cause other issues.
|Missing teeth. In the most advanced stages of periodontal disease, your teeth may fall out completely.
Treatment for Periodontal Disease
Getting treatment for periodontal disease right away is essential for stopping the disease in its tracks and preventing serious complications. The exact treatment you need will depend mainly upon the severity the condition. Gingivitis, the earliest stage, can often be stopped with a thorough dental cleaning and strict at-home oral care. As the condition worsens, the necessary treatments become more intensive. These treatments may include scaling and root planing, pocket reduction surgery, and even bone and soft tissue grafting. After undergoing treatment, taking proper care of your mouth is necessary to ensure that periodontal disease does not strike again.
If you notice any symptoms of periodontal disease, it is imperative that you seek treatment right away. Doing so will help you to prevent serious issues from occurring. For more information, or to schedule your consultation, call Oregon Periodontics, P.C. today at (503) 575-7750.