What Are Periodontal (Gum) Diseases?

Periodontal diseases are those that affect the gums. The condition inflames the part of the gums that hold the teeth in place in a person’s mouth as well the gums in between each tooth called the pockets. Periodontal disease can progress to a stage where the patient can lose his/her teeth as well as have substantial bone loss. There are two general forms of periodontal disease: gingivitis and periodontitis. Both periodontal diseases start with the formation of bacteria at the base of the gums especially in the pockets. Bacteria forms naturally in the mouth but when foods are eaten, the sugars convert into bacteria forming even more plaque. When plaque sticks to the surface of the tooth, it distributes even more bacteria which causes inflammation. After plaque consistently adheres to the tooth, it hardens and forms tartar. With both plaque and tartar helping to infect the tooth, gingivitis forms. Gingivitis is the mildest type of periodontal disease and is typically an inflammation of the gums. The disorder is mainly caused by a lack of oral hygiene although there are other factors that can make someone more susceptible to the disease.

Periodontist is the progression of gingivitis. It is dangerous over a period of time since the gums and bone below the teeth become infected. The teeth can become loose because of a lack of structure (gum tissue) holding it in place as well as bone loss beneath the tooth.

Other causes of gingivitis and periodontists include: poor diet, accumulation of dental plaque, systemic disease such as diabetes, misaligned teeth, oral appliances causing irritation, certain types of medication and over brushing/flossing.

Do You Have Periodontal Disease?
The most common signs of periodontal disease can be very obvious.
Recognition of the symptoms is important in the prevention of
gingivitis turning into periodontists. Symptoms that a doctor will
diagnose during a dental exam include:
  • Swollen, red , tender, inflamed and/or shiny gums
  • Persistent foul breath or halitosis
  • Gum swelling
  • Bleeding of the gums especially during teeth brushing
  • Formation of plaque and tartar at the base of the tooth
  • Gum recession making the teeth look longer and the gums in between forming large pockets
  • Loose teeth
Facts and Fallacies about Periodontal Disease
There are many myths and facts about periodontal disease and as well
as many misconceptions that make it difficult to recognize the
disorder. Some of the facts and fallacies include:
  • MYTH - Gum disease is uncommon. Correction: Gum disease is
    very common and it afflicts 80% of the adult population. Since the
    disease starts with plaque and bacteria growth, and all people
    have bacteria in their mouths, most of the population is at risk
    for developing a periodontal disease.
  • FACT - Gum disease can affect general health and lead to other
    conditions. Periodontal disease can affect the birth of babies,
    osteoporosis, heart complications, head and neck cancer, diabetes
    and respiratory disease.
  • MYTH - Smoking does not affect the development of
    periodontitis. Correction: Smoking causes over half of the
    periodontal cases that dentists see today. Because tobacco hardens
    plaque onto the teeth, creates deeper pockets and accelerates bone
    and tissue loss, tobacco puts smokers into a high periodontal risk
  • FACT - Periodontal disease can be caused by genetics. Up to
    30% of periodontal cases are caused by genetics. With higher
    genetic susceptibility, catching a periodontal condition early, in
    order for it to be treated, is the best course of action.
  • MYTH - Cavities are the number one cause of tooth loss.
    Correction: Periodontists is the number one cause of tooth loss.
  • MYTH - Dental hygiene can stop the progression of a
    periodontal condition. Correction: While brushing teeth and
    flossing are important to help fight the growth of bacteria, they
    may not be enough to fight a case of gingivitis or periodontists.
    Some remedies include a thorough dental cleaning, a pocket
    reduction surgery, reshaping the bone supporting the teeth, elimination
    of parts of the gum tissue and tissue and bone grafting.
  • FACT - Bleeding gums are a warning sign of gum infection. Any
    amount of bleeding coming from the gums is a potential warning
    sign of the condition. Consultation with a dentist is recommended
    if this occurs.
  • FACT - Dental implants are the best option for lost teeth.
    Dental implants, crowns or bridges may be installed by a dentist
    to compensate for a lost tooth due to periodontists.
Is Gum Disease Contagious?
Since bacteria in the saliva stores some of the bacteria that
infects the gums, saliva and therefore periodontal disease causing
bacteria can be transferred from one person to the next. Things such as
kissing, coughing, sneezing, and sharing food, utensils or drinks can
potentially spread bacteria. Because the infection starts under the
gums, some argue that the disease is not transmittable. The best course
of action is to talk to a dentist and eliminate any direct contact
with another person’s saliva.
How to Find A Periodontist
A periodontist is a specific type of dental practitioner that specializes in gum disease including evaluation, prevention and
treatment. He/she will be trained to recognize the warning signs of
periodontal disease as well as proper treatment. Also ask if the
periodontist a part of the American Academy of Period ontology.
How to Find A Periodontist Near You
Many dental offices have a periodontist on staff or can help a
patient locate one. A web search will also yield a list of practicing
Periodontal Disease and Family Members
There are two ways that periodontal disease can be transacted through family members: direct contact or genetic inheritance.
It has been shown through studies that periodontal disease can be
transmitted between couples and family members. Because saliva can
transmit bacteria, sometimes it is best for a periodontist to evaluate
an entire family for the presence of gingivitis or periodontists.
Research has also linked periodontal disease to genetics. If a parent
has any type of difficulties, it is best for a periodontist to look
into preventative treatment for the child.
Warning Signs of Periodontal Diseases
Warning signs for periodontal disease can range anywhere from mild to very severe. It is best to catch the early warning signs to prevent gingivitis or gingivitis worsening into periodontists. Some of the most common things that signal periodontal diseases are:

  • Bleeding gums especially when brushing teeth
  • Red and sore gums
  • Inflamed gums
  • Pain while chewing
  • Sensitive teeth
  • Consistently bad breath
  • Build up of plaque at the base of the tooth
  • Presence of pus
  • Loss of gum tissue or receding gums
  • Jaw and bite misalignment 
What Are Periodontal (Gum) Diseases? What Are Periodontal (Gum) Diseases? Reviewed by Sandy on 11:01 AM Rating: 5

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