Periodontal disease is a condition that begins with bacterial growth in the mouth. If the problem is not treated early, it could lead to the loss of teeth because it can deconstruct the tissue that surrounds the teeth.
Periodontal disease is usually preceded by gingivitis, which is an inflammation of the gums. However, gingivitis does not always lead to periodontal disease.
Three early symptoms of periodontal disease
When there is blood in the sink when a person is brushing their teeth, it could be a sign that they have periodontal disease. If the bleeding is mild, then they likely have gingivitis, which is an indicator that the person’s gums are infected. If the infection is not treated quickly, it can travel below the gum line and into the bone. There it becomes a more serious form of gum disease known as periodontitis.
Some of the symptoms of periodontal disease include:
1. Swollen gums
This is one of the most noticeable signs of periodontal disease. The gums will feel tender or painful to the touch and will bleed easily when attempting to brush the teeth or floss. In severe cases, it can lead to the creation of pockets, a space between the gum and tooth where bacteria thrive.
2. Bad breath
The mouth is the home of millions of bacteria, which feed on the plaque in the mouth. The more plaque a person has in their mouth the more food for the bacteria to thrive on. The bacteria in the mouth release toxins that can irritate the gums and teeth and have a foul smell. If the bad breath persists, it is an indicator of periodontal disease because having only gingivitis does not cause a significant change in a person’s breath.
3. Sensitive teeth
If a person’s teeth become sensitive when they eat or drink something that is either hot or cold, it is a sign that something is wrong. Unless the teeth recently experienced trauma, the sensitivity was likely caused by shrinking gums, which is an indicator of periodontal disease. When the gums recede, the sensitive part of the tooth is exposed, known as the dentin, which makes the teeth sensitive to hot or cold temperatures.
Can periodontal disease be treated?
When it comes to treating gum disease, the goal is to control the infection. This can be done using several options, which include:
- Deep cleaning: The dentist will clean under the gum line to prevent the periodontal disease from spreading
- Medication: The dentist will prescribe antibiotics to deal with the infection.
- Surgery: This is done if deep cleaning or medication do not work.
- Gum grafting: This involves taking healthy tissue from another part of the mouth to cover any exposed tooth roots.
Periodontal disease can be painful and also lead to the loss of your teeth, which is why it should be taken care of as soon as possible. If you have any of the symptoms listed, schedule an appointment with a dentist today to get your mouth checked out.
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