Here at Caton J. State, DDS, Periodontics & Dental Implants, we believe that educating our patients about periodontal disease is an essential step toward maintaining their oral health. We understand that prevention is the key to avoiding more serious dental issues, and we are committed to providing our patients with the knowledge and tools they need to prevent periodontal disease.
Through a combination of education, early detection, and treatment, our El Dorado Hills, CA team helps patients maintain healthy gums and teeth for life. Read below to learn more about periodontal disease!
What Is Periodontal Disease?
Periodontal disease, also known as gum disease, is a common condition that affects millions of people worldwide. It is a bacterial infection that affects the tissues that surround and support teeth, including the gums, periodontal ligament, and alveolar bone. If left untreated, periodontal disease can lead to tooth loss and even systemic health problems, such as cardiovascular disease, diabetes, respiratory disease and preterm births.
The early stages of periodontal disease may not cause any noticeable symptoms, which is why regular dental check-ups are so important. As the disease progresses, however, you may experience:
- Red, swollen, or tender gums
- Bleeding when brushing or flossing
- Receding gums or longer-looking teeth
- Loose or shifting teeth
- Persistent bad breath or a bad taste in your mouth
Causes Of Periodontal Disease
The main cause of periodontal disease is the buildup of plaque on the teeth and gums. Plaque is a sticky film of bacteria that forms on the teeth and can harden into tartar if not removed by regular brushing and flossing. The bacteria in plaque and tartar can lead to inflammation and infection in the gums, which can eventually cause damage to the supporting bone and other tissues around the teeth.
Other factors that can contribute to the development of periodontal disease include:
- Smoking or using tobacco products
- Poor nutrition
- Hormonal changes, such as those that occur during pregnancy or menopause
- Certain medications, such as steroids or cancer drugs
The Connection Between The Mouth & Body
Periodontal disease not only affects your oral health but can also have an impact on your overall health. Studies have shown that there is a link between periodontal disease and various systemic diseases and conditions. Here are some of the ways that periodontal disease can impact the entire body:
- Cardiovascular disease: Research has shown that periodontal disease may increase the risk of heart disease and stroke. The bacteria that cause the condition can enter the bloodstream and travel to other parts of the body, leading to inflammation and damage to blood vessels.
- Diabetes: People with diabetes are more likely to develop periodontal disease, and the condition can make it more difficult to control blood sugar levels. In addition, periodontal disease can lead to insulin resistance and other complications in people with diabetes.
- Respiratory infections: The bacteria that cause periodontal disease can be inhaled, causing respiratory infections such as pneumonia.
- Dementia: Studies have suggested that there may be a link between periodontal disease and cognitive decline. The bacteria that cause this condition can enter the brain and cause inflammation and damage.
- Rheumatoid arthritis: Periodontal disease may worsen the symptoms of rheumatoid arthritis, a chronic inflammatory disease that affects the joints.
Overall, it is important to understand that periodontal disease is not just a problem for your teeth and gums but can also impact your overall health. This is why it is crucial to maintain good oral hygiene habits and seek treatment for the disease as soon as possible.
If you have concerns about your oral health or would like to learn more about periodontal disease, don’t hesitate to schedule an appointment at our practice!
Periodontal Disease Prevention
The good news is that periodontal disease is preventable with proper oral hygiene and regular dental check-ups. Here are some steps you can take to prevent the condition from occuring:
- Brush your teeth twice a day with fluoride toothpaste.
- Floss at least once a day to remove plaque and food particles from between your teeth.
- Use an antiseptic mouthwash to kill bacteria and freshen your breath.
- Eat a healthy, balanced diet that is rich in fruits and vegetables.
- Avoid smoking or using tobacco products.
- Visit your dentist regularly for check-ups and cleanings.
If you are concerned about periodontal disease or would like to learn more about how we can help you keep your smile healthy, please don’t hesitate to schedule an appointment with our team. We look forward to working with you and helping you maintain your healthiest smile for a lifetime!