Do You Have Periodontal Disease?

By George L. Landress, D.D.S., M.A.G.D.
June 24, 2019
Category: Oral Health

Periodontal DiseaseDo you have periodontal disease? Maybe the question doesn't keep you awake at night. However, periodontitis, or gum disease, is the leading cause of tooth loss in the US, according to the CDC. Your dentist in Danbury, CT, Dr. George Landress alerts their patient to signs of this potentially disastrous condition and offers the best treatments in the area.

What is periodontal disease?

It's an infection of the gum tissue surrounding the tooth roots. Caused by bacteria which proliferate in plaque and tartar, periodontitis can be mild but quickly become overwhelming and severe.

In addition, gum disease affects systemic health. The American Heart Association cites a direct link between periodontitis and heart disease, stroke, and heart attack. The American Academy of Periodontology says this dental condition may be linked to osteoporosis, respiratory disease, and even some cancers in the male population. In other words, gum disease is nothing to ignore.

Signs of gum disease

While you may not be aware the symptoms of gum disease, your dentist and hygienist in Danbury, CT, will detect them on oral examination. Ranging in severity, the signs may include:

  • Bleeding gums when touched with a toothbrush or dental probe
  • Tenderness
  • Puffiness
  • Recession
  • Deep pockets between gums and teeth (as measured with a small metal probe)
  • Halitosis (bad breath)
  • Pus between teeth and at the gum line
  • Change in gum color (red to dark and dusky)
  • Loose and drifting teeth
  • A change in dental bite
  • Oral sores
  • Pain when eating hard foods
  • Teeth which look longer than they previously did

What puts you at risk

People who neglect at-home and in-office hygiene develop gum disease even if they have no other risk factors. Some people, however, run into problems because of:

  • Heredity
  • Excessive alcohol intake (the CDC defines excessive as eight drinks a week for women and 15 for men)
  • Unresolved orthodontic issues, such as crowding
  • Teeth clenching and grinding (bruxism)
  • High carbohydrate diets
  • Smoking (the University of Rochester Medical Center cites research about e-cigarettes also harming gums and other oral tissues)

Prevention and management

The surest path to healthy gums is diligent oral hygiene. That means daily flossing and twice daily brushing to remove bacteria-filled plaque and prevent hard tartar.

Also, be careful what you consume. Avoid sugar in all forms, reduce your alcohol consumption to safe levels (one to two drinks a day only) and stop both smokeless tobacco, cigarettes, and e-cigarettes.

To control active disease, Dr. Landress may recommend tooth scaling and root planing, along with antibiotics to eliminate infection. For advanced cases, gum grafting may be in order. Your plan will be tailored to meet your specific needs.

They're your gums

Take care of them, won't you? And let Dr. George Landress and his team in Danbury, CT, partner with you in the effort. If you need a six-month examination and hygienic cleaning, call your dentist for an appointment: (203) 743-7608.

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