Periodontal disease doesn’t have to be the end of a beautiful smile.

You have probably heard about gingivitis, but you may not know much about periodontal disease, which is the disease that can develop when gingivitis is left untreated. Periodontitis is actually more common than you might think, and it is the leading cause of tooth loss. Fortunately, it is also completely preventable and treatable. The key is to understand the dangers associated with this disease and how different periodontal therapies can help. Keep reading to learn more about periodontal disease and the steps you can take to save your teeth and enjoy a healthy smile.

1. Periodontal disease begins with gingivitis.

Gingivitis is an extremely common disease. In fact, about 50% of adults over the age of 30 have gingivitis. That percentage increases as people age, which means a significant portion of the population is at risk for developing periodontal disease. If your gums are bright red, swollen, and/or bleed when you brush or floss, it is time to talk to your dentist about periodontal therapies.

2. Regular dentist appointments are key to identifying and treating periodontitis.

By the time you start noticing uncomfortable signs and symptoms of a problem, you may already be in the early stages of periodontal disease. That is why it is important to make sure you continue to regularly visit your dentist for checkups and cleanings. When you work with your dentist, you will be able to catch any problems early on so they are easier and less painful to treat.

3. Practicing good oral hygiene can prevent periodontal disease.

It is easy to become relaxed when it comes to your oral hygiene routine. Perhaps you only floss a couple of times a week or you neglect to brush your teeth for a full two minutes. These lapses can add up and allow bacteria to grow and take hold, which will eventually lead to gingivitis and periodontal disease. Practicing good oral hygiene only takes a few minutes out of your day, and it can make a significant difference. If you find yourself cutting corners, consider investing in an electric toothbrush. These are great tools because they help loosen and remove plaque more efficiently, and they come with built-in timers so you can make sure you are brushing thoroughly.

4. X-rays are an essential tool for detecting problems. 

During your dental checkup, your dentist will conduct a visual evaluation of your mouth and they will use radiographs or digital radiographs to identify the first signs of a problem. At Brocks Gap, we rely on handheld digital radiographs, which provide more accurate information while also creating a more comfortable experience for the patient. This technology plays an important role in our approach to periodontal therapy.

5. Periodontal disease can cause persistent bad breath.

If you brush and floss regularly, but you still find you have lingering bad breath, you may be suffering from periodontal disease. As bacteria accumulate in the mouth and plaque forms, the gums will become irritated and the jawbone can be affected. All this can lead to bad breath that can make you feel uncomfortable and self-conscious.

6. Periodontitis can lead to tooth loss.

Periodontitis is more than just plaque or bad breath. It is a serious disease that can affect your smile and your health. While it may begin with minor inflammation and swelling, it can progress to the point where your jawbone is affected and your teeth begin to fall out. At this point, you will need to be fitted with partial dentures or implants so you can speak and eat normally and the rest of your teeth don’t begin to shift. This can be a labor-intensive and expensive process, which makes preventive therapies all the more important.

7. Periodontal disease is linked to many other undesirable maladies. 

Researchers have found that periodontal disease can cause systemic problems that affect other areas of the body. In fact, it has been tied to chronic illnesses, such as cardiovascular disease, rheumatoid arthritis, and type 2 diabetes, among many others. Protecting your oral health also helps protect your overall health.

8. Eating healthy can protect your teeth.

As we all know, there are a whole host of benefits to eating healthy, but did you know that eating dairy can help nourish your teeth and protect the enamel? Calcium-rich foods, such as milk and cheese, can help support teeth health, reverse the negative effects of other foods, and prevent periodontal disease.

9. Gum disease can be prevented.

Learning some of the facts about gingivitis and periodontal disease can be scary, but remember, it can be prevented and treated. Begin by practicing good oral hygiene habits at home and regularly visiting your dentist to identify any early warning signs. Just because gingivitis is common doesn’t mean it is something you have to deal with.

10. Your dentist is your best ally.

Not only can your dentist help you create and implement a plan of action to protect your oral health, but they can continue to use the latest advances in technology to make sure you have access to the best treatments and techniques. As new advances become available, they can introduce them into your treatment plan so you are up-to-date on the latest techniques and are actively working to prevent periodontal disease.

If you have concerns about gingivitis or periodontal disease or you want to schedule a checkup to make sure your dental health is on point, call the experts at Brocks Dental. Our highly trained and experienced staff has the knowledge to answer all your questions and make sure you are taking all the necessary steps to prevent and treat periodontal disease. Give us a call today!