Periodontal Disease: What You Need to Know

Periodontal Disease in Cleveland, TN | Gum Disease Treatment

In nature, the color yellow is often a sign of danger. Wasps and poisonous bugs use that color to tell other animals to stay away. But for humans and the society we’ve built, the color red typically symbolizes caution. From stop signs and ambulances to police lights, red demands our attention, signaling that ignoring these warnings comes with risks. Similarly, noticing red in the sink after brushing your teeth should raise an alarm. This could be an early indicator of periodontal disease. Just as you would heed a stop sign’s warning, ignoring symptoms of periodontal disease is equally risky.

Periodontal Disease in Cleveland, TN | Gum Disease Treatment

What Is Periodontal Disease?

Periodontal disease, more commonly called gum disease, is a condition that affects the gums and bones that support your teeth. It’s caused by a buildup of plaque, which is a sticky film of bacteria. If not removed through regular brushing and flossing, plaque can harden into tartar, worsening the condition. Left untreated, eventually, the gums will pull away from the tooth, and the tooth will fall out or need to be extracted. This is the leading cause of tooth loss among adults.

Stages of Periodontal Disease

Almost half of all adults in America have some form of gum disease. The condition progresses in stages:

  1. Gingivitis: This is the first stage, marked by red, swollen gums that may bleed easily. Your gums will be sore to the touch, but you may not experience any pain yet. This stage is still reversible with professional cleaning and better oral care at home.
  2. Periodontitis: If left untreated, gingivitis can turn into periodontitis. The gums begin to recede from your teeth, forming periodontal pockets that become infected with bacteria. We may recommend scaling and root planing, which is a deep cleaning treatment.
  3. Advanced periodontitis: In this final stage, the fibers and bone supporting the teeth are destroyed, which can lead to loose teeth and tooth loss. At this point, the disease must be managed with more aggressive interventions.

Symptoms to Watch For

Be on the lookout for these warning signs, and take action as soon as possible:

  • Swollen or red gums
  • Bleeding while flossing or brushing
  • Bad breath that won’t go away
  • Painful chewing
  • Loose teeth

Prevention and Treatment

The key to managing periodontal disease is early detection and treatment. Here are some steps you can take:

  • Maintain good oral hygiene: Brush twice a day, floss daily, and use an antiseptic mouthwash.
  • Regular dental visits: Cleanings by one of our experienced dental professionals are crucial to removing tartar that you can’t clean at home.
  • Quit smoking: Smoking is a significant risk factor for periodontal disease.
  • Eat a balanced diet: Nutritious food supports healthy gums.

For those already affected, treatments for periodontal disease vary depending on the severity:

  • Deep cleaning: A scaling and root planing treatment cleans deeper under your gums, getting to places where brushes and floss can’t.
  • Medications: Antibiotics can help control infection and inflammation.
  • Surgery: In advanced cases, surgery may be necessary to restore supportive tissues.

While preventing gum disease is the aim, some people are more prone to developing it than others. If you or a loved one is experiencing signs of periodontal disease, we are eager to help you improve your oral health.

A Brighter Smile Awaits

Periodontal disease doesn’t just affect your gums; it can impact your entire smile. Regular dental care and early treatment are your best defenses against this common condition. If you’re experiencing any symptoms of periodontal disease or are due for a checkup, don’t wait for symptoms to worsen. Schedule your visit today and take the first step towards a healthier smile at The Center for Cosmetic Dentistry In Cleveland, TN. Remember, a proactive approach to oral health can make all the difference.

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