A periodontal disease is a serious gum infection that can potentially cause severe damage to the gums and jawbones, subsequently leading to tooth decay and loss. Poor oral hygiene is usually the cause of these infections. Periodontal diseases are both preventable and treatable with the help of general dentistry treatments.
Gingivitis the mildest and most common form of gum disease. Caused by toxins in plaque, gingivitis is especially prevalent in diabetics, pregnant women, those who take birth control pills, and those on medications for epilepsy and blood pressure. Stress, smoking, substance abuse and a poor diet are other factors that may contribute to the development of gingivitis. Typical symptoms include swollen, puffy, bleeding gums that may be tender. If bleeding occurs when brushing or the gumline begins to recede, gingivitis may be present.
Chronic Periodontal Disease
This form of periodontitis can affect people of all ages but usually occurs in individuals over 45. This disease causes inflammation below the gum line, leading to the progressive deterioration of the gums and bone tissue. A pocket formation may also occur. General dentistry services may not be able to rebuild the lost tissue, but oral surgeries can help to halt the progression.
Aggressive Periodontal Disease
Aggressive periodontal disease is a gum infection that has the same symptoms as chronic periodontal disease, but the loss of gum attachment and bone tissues progresses at a much more rapid rate. Smokers or those have a family history of this disease are at a higher risk. A dentist may recommend full mouth rehabilitation to prevent the further loss of bone and tissue.
Necrotizing Periodontal Disease
Another form of periodontitis, this gum disease is extremely rare but severe. Occurring more frequently among those who suffer from extreme malnutrition, HIV, or other serious conditions, this disease leads to necrosis, or tissue death, of gingival tissues and bone. A dentist may need to consult a doctor first before starting any general dentistry treatments since this disease usually occurs alongside a serious medical condition.
Preventing Periodontal Diseases
Periodontal diseases can cause long-term discomfort and damage, but luckily, it is preventable. Practicing healthy dental hygiene habits such as brushing teeth twice a day and flossing regularly can help prevent these infections. Refraining from smoking and maintaining a healthy diet will also ensure optimum oral health. Regular dental cleanings can also help prevent infections such as gingivitis. Those concerned about gum disease or those showing symptoms should visit a dentist specializing in general dentistry to discuss their symptoms and potential treatments.