Periodontal disease, or gum disease, is a serious condition that if left untreated can cause irreversible damage to the teeth, gums, and jawbone. The good news is there’s quite a bit that can be done to prevent the negative consequences of periodontal disease if detected early. Read on to learn what makes gum disease worse and how to improve your oral health!
What Is Periodontal Disease?
Periodontal disease is unhealthy gum tissue, but it can also lead to destruction of the teeth and underlying bone of the mouth. Its earliest stage is gingivitis, characterized by mild inflammation and irritation of the gums. Other warning signs of gum disease include bleeding gums, gums that are tender and abnormally red, loose teeth, tooth pain and sensitivity, pus around the teeth and gums, and chronic bad breath.
Combat Periodontal Disease with Improved Oral Hygiene
A buildup of plaque is the major culprit with this condition. Plaque is a sticky film of bacteria that sticks to teeth and causes enamel erosion and gum inflammation. If plaque is not regularly brushed, flossed, and rinsed away, it will harden into tartar, which will further irritate gums. As the gums become more and more inflamed, they recede and pull away from the teeth. This creates pockets that harbor bacteria and cause infection.
Improved oral healthcare habits can work wonders at restoring your gum health! Brushing twice daily for two minutes each time, flossing every day, consuming a balanced diet, avoiding tobacco products, and visiting our office every six months for a cleaning and checkup will help to prevent and reverse gingivitis, as well as treat the more advanced stages of periodontal disease. Additionally, consider investing in a water flosser, which removes plaque while massaging the gums, which stimulates bloodflow and healing. We also recommend regularly switching out your toothbrush.
Factors That Make Periodontal Disease Worse
Those with certain health conditions need to be extra diligent about their daily hygiene and communicating with our team about changes in their oral health. Those with immune system disorders may be more prone to periodontal disease. For example, patients with conditions that affect the efficiency of the immune system, such as diabetes, HIV, Down syndrome, leukemia, etc., can make periodontal disease worse. Those who smoke, use tobacco products, are malnourished, and/or are highly stressed are also at an increased risk.
Consult with Our Friendly Team!
If you have any questions about how your specific health condition may affect your dental health, please let us know at your next appointment. We aim to tailor your dental care to your unique needs. Contact us today to schedule your next visit to our office.