Periodontitis is nothing but a set of gum-related inflammatory diseases. It affects the tissues that surround the teeth. Thus it is commonly known as gum disease.
Periodontitis progressively affects the bone around the teeth in a negative way. If it is not treated or avoided for some period, it can result in the loss of teeth. It is caused by the microorganisms which grow on the surface of teeth.
Wellington Dentist, Dr. Sam Sadati says, “A periodontitis is diagnosed by inspecting the soft gum tissues. It is evaluated by using the X-ray films which determines the amount of bone loss around the teeth.”
What are the causes of periodontitis?
Many causes are leading to periodontitis. Following are some of them:
- Plague: It is the primary cause leading to periodontitis. The bacterium causes infection if not cleaned regularly.
- Hormonal changes: There are some hormonal changes during a specified period such as that occurring during pregnancy, puberty, and monthly menstruation. These situations make gums more sensitive thus helping the gingivitis to develop efficiently.
- Illnesses: Certain severe diseases that are difficult to cure and hamper the overall health of a person affect the condition of gums as well. Diseases such as cancer or HIV interfere with the immune system making the gums more sensitive. Patients having diabetes are at higher risk of developing infections causing cavities and periodontitis.
- Medications: Medications tend to slow down the flow of saliva that protects the gums and teeth from bacteria and infections. Often drugs fasten the abnormal growth of the gum tissues.
- Smoking: Habits such as smoking and chewing tobacco slow down the repairing process of gum tissue. Thus, the tissues are not able to recover and become weaker over the period.
- Poor oral hygiene: Avoiding the regular dental health develops gingivitis which gives rise to periodontitis. Irregular brushing and flossing create such problems.
What are the potential signs and symptoms?
Very few symptoms appear in the initial stages of periodontitis. But the disease spreads and becomes severe before the patient seeking the treatment. Following are the signs of periodontitis:
- Bleeding of gums: The gums bleed while brushing, flossing, biting the food which is hard in texture if the disease of periodontitis has been developed in the patient.
- Swelling of gums: Along with bleeding of gums, they also swell in case of gum disease. Gums swell, and then they bleed in case of any contact with it.
- Bad breath: Bad breath develops persistent metallic taste in the mouth causing gum disease.
- The pocket between teeth and gums: The formation of a deep pocket or space between the teeth and gums give rise to increased bacterial activity. Thus it results in gum disease as well.
- Loose teeth: If the teeth are not fit in the respective position and tend to loosen out, the risk of developing bacterium and gingivitis becomes higher. It further leads to swollen gums and periodontitis.
What are the ways to prevent periodontitis?
It is possible to recover from periodontitis. But prevention is always preferred than cure. Following are the various techniques to prevent periodontitis:
- Daily brushing and flossing: Brushing and flossing of teeth daily reduce the risk of developing periodontal disease. Teeth should be brushed twice daily to avoid growth of the bacterium. Antibacterial mouth rinses also help to minimize bacterium which in turn cause plaque and gum disease.
- Avoid smoking: Avoiding smoking and chewing tobacco is a significant step in the prevention of periodontitis. The people smoking and eating tobacco are seven times more likely to face gum disease as compared to the ones that don’t consume them. Smoking also lowers the effect of treatment.
- Reduce stress: Stress makes it difficult for the body’s immune system to fight any infection or disease. Thus reducing the stress level helps to recover faster by improving the immune system.
- Balanced diet: Consumption of a well-balanced diet and proper nutrition helps to repair the damage if any and prevents the development of any infection or disease. Thus, having a diet rich in nutrients, vitamins, and minerals reduces the risk of any disease.
- Avoid clenching and grinding of teeth: Excess forces exerted on the tissues that support the gums and teeth would destroy them. Thus, clenching and grinding of teeth should be avoided.
How is periodontitis linked to other health issues?
There are potential links between the periodontitis and other health issues. People having healthy immune systems are less prone to the harm produced by the bacteria. Other health problems such as a stroke, heart diseases, diabetes, etc. are related in a way to gum disease. Periodontitis may make the condition of these disorders worse under some situation.
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