Periodontal disease, also known as gum disease, is a common yet potentially serious condition. If you’ve been diagnosed with it, you’re not alone: findings from a 2010 National Health and Nutritional Examination Survey show almost half (47%) of adults have the disease in at least some form. To help dental patients stay educated about the disease and its risks, the team from Chesaning Family Dental in Chesaning, MI, separates fact from fiction.
A Guide to Periodontal Disease
Is It the Same as Gingivitis?
Gingivitis and periodontal disease are not synonymous, as gingivitis is just one form of the disease. In fact, it’s the earliest stage of gum disease, and patients may experience little to no discomfort during this state. However, you may spot early symptoms which can include red, puffy, or bleeding gums. Taking prompt action is critical in these early stages, as it can prevent the disease from progressing.
Is It Really Only Caused By Poor Hygiene?
The American Academy of Periodontology (perio.org) cites inadequate dental hygiene as a leading factor of the disease, but it’s certainly not the only possible cause. Factors such as poor nutrition, genetics, age, smoking, certain medications, and even hormonal fluctuations during pregnancy can all make a person more likely to develop the disease. However, whether it progresses into periodontitis – the later stage where gum, tissue, and bone loss can occur – depends directly on the patient’s decision to seek treatment.
What Are Some Ways to Prevent It?
Brushing and flossing regularly are the best ways to keep periodontal disease at bay. You may also wish to use a rinse to fully remove stubborn plaque and food particles from the teeth and gums. Regular teeth cleanings are essential as well, since dental hygienists use special tools to remove tartar buildup you might not be able to extract completely at home. Lastly, it’s a good idea to discuss your risks with your dentist, especially if you’ve recently changed medications, become pregnant, or have a family member who has been diagnosed with gum disease.
You can discuss your periodontal disease risks, and learn more about prevention tactics by scheduling a visit with Chesaning Family Dental. Call (989) 845-7242 to make an appointment, or contact the team by visiting the website. You can also stay up-to-date with the dental practice by liking the Facebook page.