Periodontal disease, or gum disease, affects the tissues in your gums and jaw holding your teeth in place. This term is a catch-all, covering a range of issues that can arise from many problems, most notably through inadequate tooth care at home.
At any given time, our mouths are full of bacteria continually forming plaque on our teeth. Through proper brushing and flossing techniques, we can keep this plaque at bay. But for many, falling into bad oral care habits can lead to a buildup of tartar and toxins that can cause several problems — not only for our teeth but also for our overall health.
Recent studies have linked periodontal disease to increased chances of developing heart and respiratory disease, having a stroke and complicating existing diabetes. With this in mind, it becomes that much more critical to make oral care as important as anything else you do for your health.
At Specialized Dentistry of New Jersey (SDNJ), we're experts in treating periodontal disease. Whether you believe you may have the condition already or would like to learn more about how to prevent periodontal disease, contact our office to make an appointment.
Types of Periodontal Disease
Periodontitis can appear in many forms, depending on your overall health, age, genetics or acquired diseases. Symptoms can start out very mild, and you may not be aware of concerning developments until it’s too late, making those regular dentist visits very important. They’ll often be able to identify symptoms before they require more significant treatment.
The two main types of periodontal disease are:
The mildest form is the one you’ve likely heard the most about — gingivitis. This causes your gums to swell, turn red and bleed easily. Closely linked with poor brushing habits, gingivitis can be easily controlled by making an extra effort to brush and floss properly. This includes brushing the minimum recommended time of between 60 and 90 seconds for both the top and bottom teeth. Also, regular cleanings by your dentist will target anything good brushing habits at home aren’t getting.
If you develop gingivitis and don’t take the proper steps to eradicate it, it can quickly turn into periodontitis, which is much more severe. This can lead to loss of bone and tissue in your jaw, infections and chronic inflammation. Eventually, these symptoms can lead to significant pain and eventual loss of your teeth, making efforts to control gum disease in its early stages that much more vital.
Treatment of Periodontal Disease
While advanced stages of the disease require intervention by a periodontist who is specially trained for these issues, you can make great headway in terms of precaution at home.
Immediate changes in diet and habits, such as soda consumption and smoking, can make a big difference. Cutting down on causes of plaque buildup and inflammation can help your gums heal more effectively. Also, by embracing proper brushing and flossing techniques at least twice a day and utilizing mouthwash, you can reduce the bacteria contributing to the disease. Advanced stages can require medication to minimize infection and procedures to keep teeth attached to the jaw.
If you aren’t giving your oral health the focus it needs, you’re putting yourself at risk for developing a wide range of problems. If you haven’t seen your dentist lately, schedule a visit at SDNJ to get a thorough cleaning and see what you can do to fight off gum disease for a lifetime. Make today the start of a new commitment to your teeth, because their health is not something you can take for granted.
Contact SDNJ for Expert Treatment for Periodontal Disease
If you have any questions or concerns about periodontal disease, message us or give us a call. Our dentists can get you diagnosed and on a path toward lasting oral health. This disease isn't something you want to develop into its advanced stages, so the sooner you can head it off, the better.