Estimates show that almost 75% of adults over the age of 40 suffer from gum disease. There is a huge lack of knowledge when it comes to this condition, how it develops, the different forms of treatment, and the repercussions of not seeking treatment. Many people are not usually even aware they have gum disease. When neglected, gum disease can negatively affect a person's health and can cause the loss of teeth.
This article explores this condition, including some common myths about it. It covers the difference between periodontitis and gingivitis, the symptoms to be on the lookout for, the best way to avoid gum disease, and how a periodontist can help.
The Truth About Gum Disease
Strangely, a number of myths about periodontal disease have appeared recently. Many people believe it only develops because of not brushing when in fact 25% of the population has a genetic predisposition for the condition. Many others believe it is only a minor problem that will eventually disappear on its own. Actually, it won't just disappear. Gum disease is an infection and just like other infections, it can spread if it isn't treated. This can have a serious impact on your health, your appearance, and can lead to your teeth falling out. Lastly, some people believe the treatment for gum disease is painful. With IV sedation from a periodontist, this just isn't true.
Gingivitis And Periodontitis
While both are gum disease, gingivitis is the initial manifestation of the disease. Most people with gingivitis don't feel any discomfort so they usually don't know they have a problem until diagnosed. Gingivitis can often be treated at home with several methods from a periodontist.
Periodontitis is advanced gingivitis and it can be serious when left untreated. The plaque on teeth starts to affect the gum line and the bacteria of the mouth begin to produce toxins that break down the structure and support system of your teeth. At this stage, treatment from a periodontist is crucial.
The Warning Signs
Look for swelling or bleeding after brushing your teeth and notice whether your gums seem to be receding, making your teeth look longer. Another sign of early periodontitis is teeth feeling loose and the gums feeling squishy. If you notice any of these symptoms, make an appointment with your dentist or periodontist immediately to discuss treatment options.
Prevent With Good Oral Habits
The prevention of gingivitis and periodontitis come largely down to good brushing and flossing daily. This stops the spread of plaque and prevents bacteria from producing harmful toxins that will deteriorate the tissue and bone that surround your teeth.
You can usually keep plaque and bacteria in check with twice daily brushing and flossing along with visiting your dentist or periodontist twice per year. In addition, use mouthwash daily to kill bacteria and stop plaque from spreading.
The Job Of A Periodontist
A periodontist serves several roles in your dental care, including providing advice and guidance that can help you prevent gum disease, diagnosing this condition, and providing the treatments necessary for eliminating it. These dental professionals often also offer smile makeovers, laser dentistry, dental implants, and other dental procedures.
If you have the symptoms of gum disease, make an appointment with your periodontist right away for painless treatment to resolve a potentially serious problem.
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