6 Questions About Periodontal Gum Disease

6 Questions About Periodontal Gum Disease

6 Questions About Periodontal Gum Disease
6 Questions About Periodontal Gum Disease
Dr. Eddie Choi, EverSmile Dentistry, Sterling, Virginia

1. What is Periodontal Disease?

Periodontal disease is an infection of the gums. It is also known as gum disease or pyorrhea. Left unattended to, it can eat away at the bone supporting your teeth, and to tooth loss. Bacteria from advanced gum disease can enter the blood stream and create medical problems in other areas of the body.

2. How Do I Know if I Have Periodontal Disease?

At the beginning, you may not know you have periodontal disease since it attacks the gums below the surface. As the disease becomes more advanced, you may experience one or more of the following symptoms:
• Red, tender or swollen gums
• Tooth sensitivity to hot and cold
• Receding gums; teeth look longer
• Bad breath
• Pockets appearing around teeth or spaces between teeth
• Loose or shifting teeth
• Tooth loss

3. How Did I Get Periodontal Disease?

The most common cause of periodontal disease is the overscrubbing of teeth while brushing. Vigorous scrubbing can wear away gums and create gaps alongside teeth where food, tartar, plaque and bacteria can build up. Eventually, this creates irritation to the surrounding gum tissue.

There are a number of factors that can increase the severity of the disease. They include:
• Smoking
• Poor oral hygiene; incorrect brushing/overscrubbing; not flossing regularly
• Buildup of dental plaque
• Diet
• Age
• Illness
• Stress
• Genetics

4. Do I Need to See a Periodontist?

A periodontist is a specialist in periodontal disease, and your regular dentist may refer you to one for further treatments for progressive gum disease that can include deep cleaning, medication, or gum graft surgery.

5. Does Periodontal Treatment Hurt?

The level of periodontal treatment needed depends upon the severity of your gum disease. As with any dental procedure, your dentist or periodontist will take measures to reduce discomfort.

6. How Can I Keep My Periodontal Disease From Getting Worse?

Gum disease is not reversible. The best method for preventing gum disease or keeping it from getting worse is proper dental care. Visit your dentist at least twice a year for a professional dental cleaning. (Your dentist may recommend additional visits, depending upon the extent of your periodontal disease.) At home, clean teeth at least twice a day—morning and evening—with a soft bristle brush. Floss nightly. And keep teeth clean of food debris.

Visit EverSmile Dentistry

During your regular twice-yearly examination and cleaning, the dentists at EverSmile Dentistry will check for gum disease, or check to see if your periodontal disease has worsened. Since the best results come from catching the disease early, we keep records and note any changes in your dental health. If we spot gum disease, we offer patients instructions for thwarting its progression.

We’d love to be your family dentist. Contact EverSmile Dentistry today to set your appointment.

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