Warning Signs of Periodontitis :
- Red, swollen or tender gums or other pain in your mouth
- Bleeding while brushing, flossing, or eating hard food
- Gums that are receding or pulling away from the teeth, causing the teeth to look longer than before
- Loose or separating teeth
- Pus between your gums and teeth
- Sores in your mouth
- Persistent bad breath
- A change in the way your teeth fit together when you bite
- A change in the fit of partial dentures
Periodontitis produces high inflammation levels and has been linked to Heart Disease, Diabetes, Rheumatoid Arthritis and Prostatitis.
Periodontitis or gum disease is caused by plaque accumulation on the teeth and around the gums. This plaque build-up will eventually harden, in as little as two to three days time, and remain on the teeth and around one’s gum line.
Periodontitis is often silent, meaning symptoms may not appear until an advanced stage of the disease. This is when bacteria in the plaque causes the gums to become inflamed, to swell, to become sore or tender, and when gingivitis sets in, one’s teeth can bleed when touched or brushed.
The American Academy of Periodontology's risk assessment test will help you see if you are at risk for having or developing periodonttits (gum disease). Millions of people don't know they have this serious infection that can lead to tooth loss if not treated.
Proper and Consistent Oral Hygiene
Prevention of gingivitis and periodontitis is based primarily on plaque and calculus control around the teeth.
Correct tooth brushing, mouth cleansing, and flossing should be everyone's defense against periodontal disease.
The use of dental floss, either waxed or unwaxed, is critical in cleaning between the teeth where the toothbrush bristles cannot reach.
There is no scientific evidence to support the superiority of any of the techniques (or styles) of toothbrushing. However, some toothbrushing techniques (for example, horizontal scrubbing can result in abrasion or systemic bacteraemia) and too frequent brushing leads to gingival recession).
The most common form of professional preventive care for gingivitis and periodontitis is scaling and polishing of teeth in a dental office. See your dentist at least once a year.
CLICK HERE for more information on the prevention of periodontal disease.
While plaque is the primary cause of periodontal disease, the American Academy of Periodontology (AAP) says that other factors are thought to increase the risk, severity and speed of gum disease development. These can include:
- Tobacco use — one of the most significant risk factors associated with the development of periodontitis. People who smoke are seven times more likely to get periodontitis than nonsmokers, and smoking can lower the chances of success of some treatments.
- Hormonal changes — may make gums more sensitive and make it easier for gingivitis to develop.
- Stress — may make it difficult for the body's immune system to fight off infection.
- Medications — can affect oral health because they lessen the flow of saliva, which has a protective effect on teeth and gums. Some drugs, such as the anticonvulsant medication diphenylhydantoin and the anti-angina drug nifedipine, can cause abnormal growth of gum tissue.
- Poor nutrition — may make it difficult for the immune system to fight off infection, especially if the diet is low in important nutrients. Additionally, the bacteria that cause periodontal disease thrive in acidic environments. Eating sugars and other foods that increase the acidity in the mouth increases bacterial counts.
- Illnesses — may affect the condition of your gums. This includes diseases such as cancer or AIDS that interfere with the immune system.
- Clenching and grinding teeth — may put excess force on the supporting tissues of the teeth and could speed up the rate at which these tissues are destroyed.