Periodontal disease (also called gum disease) is not a rare thing. It affects a significant part of any population, sometimes as much as 5% of a nation. What’s surprising about this disease is that it is caused mainly by plaque and is avoidable in most cases. From commercials about dental hygiene products, you may be familiar with gingivitis, the most common type of periodontal disease. However, numerous afflictions are classified as periodontal diseases. In almost every case, the dental bone is weakened and tooth loss is the result.
From Basic to Extreme Cases of Periodontal Disease
Without proper dental hygiene, it is likely you will suffer from gingivitis, which involves an inflammation of the gums. However, the real danger comes later and about one-tenth of people will gingivitis will advance to more severe stages of periodontal disease. In these cases, you will see the erosion of bone and then tooth loss. Seven out of ten people with advanced periodontal disease will experience chronic bone loss and require vigilant treatment. The other 30% of those afflicted will experience cyclical bone loss.
Looking for the Warning Signs of Periodontal Disease
The human immune system always sends out warning signs when you are in danger of succumbing to disease. Reddish, swollen gums tell you that gingivitis – if not yet arrived – is following close behind. You should talk to your dentist about how to correct the problem so bone loss does not result. If you have a bad taste in your mouth much of the day and suffer from bad breath, it is another sign hinting at the onset of periodontal disease. Of course, poor dental hygiene usually provokes bad breath.
Getting a Case of Periodontal Disease Diagnosed
To have periodontal disease diagnosed properly, you need to start with a visit to your dentist. He or she will examine the gums and see if the swelling is a sign of improper brushing or problems within your gums. After taking X-rays, you may be referred to a periodontist, the type of dentist that specializes in treatment of these diseases. Both dentists should coordinate solutions to make your mouth healthy and aesthetically uniform at the conclusion of treatment.
Waging Your Own Fight against Periodontal Disease
When diagnosed with gum diseases of any kind, remember that you have a strong chance of getting over the affliction. Step up your efforts in daily oral hygiene by forcing yourself to properly brush, floss and rinse with mouthwash so symptoms do not worsen. A periodontist may also recommend quitting smoking if that is exacerbating the problem. Though you are not obligated to follow any treatment recommendations, remember that the loss of dental bone and several teeth could be a consequence of ignoring your dentist’s advice.