Periodontal care is important for your smile, affecting everything from the way your breath smells to the number of teeth that will survive the year. Unfortunately, the early signs of gum disease are easy to ignore, which is why estimates show that nearly half of all Americans are living with the condition. However, by recognizing the dangers of gum disease and knowing how to resolve it, you can live a healthier life.
What Is Periodontal Disease?
When you eat and drink, microscopic sugars and starches can accumulate on your teeth, creating a film called plaque. If this film isn’t brushed or flossed away, it mineralizes and turns into hardened tartar within a few days. Unfortunately, both types of accumulations host bacteria, which produces acids and toxins.
Your gum tissue responds to the presence of these toxins by becoming tender, red, and inflamed. Eventually, your gums will even start to retreat, creating root exposure and dental sensitivity. If your gums recede enough, it can even compromise the stability of the tooth.
Periodontal disease is the advanced stage of gum disease, marked by bacterial toxins that have started to cause bone loss around the tooth itself. In its later stages, periodontal disease can lead to severe oral infections that can even be life-threatening.
Why Is It So Dangerous?
In addition to impacting the look and functionality of the teeth and gums, periodontal disease has also been tied to a number of other conditions, since bacterial toxins can seep into the blood and spark inflammation. In addition to contributing to heart problems, periodontal disease has also been tied to diabetes, osteoporosis, respiratory problems, and even some forms of cancer.
Fortunately, even the later stages of the disease can be effectively treated with a range of periodontal care procedures. After cleaning the teeth to remove deposits, dentists can also control infections with the help of antibiotics and encourage healing by removing dead tissue with state-of-the-art laser therapies.
If you are concerned about periodontal care, don’t procrastinate—make an appointment at Three Rivers Dental, Dr. Evon Heaser in Flathead Valley. As an experienced dentist who can help with everything from routine dental cleanings and preventive exams to dental implants and cosmetic restorations, this dental professional can help you to enjoy a smile that is just as healthy as it is beautiful. To learn more, visit her online or call (406) 892-2085.