Perhaps you have heard of periodontal disease but you are not sure what it is or if you have it. Don’t worry! Dr. Darian Hampton, a knowledgeable family and cosmetic dentist in North Dallas, explains what periodontal disease is and what you should do if you notice any symptoms.
The Basics of Periodontal Disease
Periodontal disease, or gum disease, is also referred to as periodontitis. Periodontal disease is characterized by inflammation of the gums. Gum disease is serious and, if left untreated, can cause tooth loss. In fact, it is the leading cause of tooth loss, even beating out tooth decay.
Gingivitis is characterized by a bacterial infection of the gums, and can eventually lead to full-blown periodontal disease if it is not addressed.
Once periodontal disease has advanced, the toxins that the bacteria produce can damage the teeth’s connective tissue and jawbone, greatly weakening them so they can no longer support the teeth. This is what can ultimately lead to tooth loss.
Symptoms of Periodontal Disease
Early stages of gum disease are difficult to detect because patients may not present any symptoms, or the symptoms may be mild. However, tender, red or bleeding gums are possible signs of gingivitis. Other symptoms of periodontal disease include:
- Receding gums (and bone, but this is harder to detect by the naked eye)
- Increased tooth sensitivity
- The formation of pus
- Empty pockets between the tooth and gum
- Loose teeth or teeth that have shifted
- Bridges or dentures that no longer fit properly
How You Can Help Prevent Gum Disease
The best ways you can help prevent gum disease are to practice good oral hygiene habits, avoid grinding or clenching your teeth (as this may damage the surrounding tissue, possibly making it more susceptible to gum disease), and see The Hamptons Family and Cosmetic Dentistry for all your routine check-ups and cleanings. That way, Dr. Hampton can monitor your oral health and let you know if he sees early signs of gum disease.
If you are overdue for your next dentist appointment and would like to schedule an appointment with Dr. Hampton, contact Hampton Family and Cosmetic Dental by calling (971) 695-4594.