What is Periodontal Disease?
Periodontal disease, also known as gum disease, is a bacterial infection of the gum tissue that supports the teeth. It is a chronic infection of the gum tissue that will not resolve on its own. Periodontal disease attacks just below the gum line, where it causes the gum tissue that supports the teeth to break down. As gum tissues is damaged, pockets develop. Generally, the more severe the periodontal disease, the deeper the pocket. When periodontal disease is not the teeth will become loose and need to be extracted.
Your trusted Pasadena, Deer Park Dentist, Dr. Nugent, is ready to give you leading care for the treatment of periodontal disease.
What are the risk factors for periodontal disease?
- Poor oral hygiene
- Not routinely going to the dentist for cleanings
- Chewing tobacco
- Medications (steroids, anti-epilepsy drugs, cancer therapy drugs, some calcium channel blockers)
- Poorly contoured bridges
- Crooked teeth
- Defective fillings
- Pregnancy (due to hormone changes)
Here are some suggestions from Dr. Nugent on how you can prevent gum disease.
The Warning Signs of Gum Disease:
- Gums that bleed easily — healthy gums do not bleed!
- Gums that have pulled away from the teeth
- Red, swollen, tender gums
- Constant bad breath or bad taste in mouth
- Teeth that are loose or separating
- Changes in the way your teeth fit together
- Change in the fit of partial dentures
Did you know that it’s possible and very common, to have periodontal disease and have no symptoms or pain? Only your dentist or hygienist can tell you if you have periodontal disease. Checking to see if you have periodontal disease is done by using a probe (metal ruler) and measuring the pockets around your teeth. Healthy measurements of the pockets are 3mm or less. Pockets of 4mm and greater indicate periodontal disease. Therefore, regular dental checkups are important.
Gum Disease Therapy
When thinking about dental health, the majority of individuals only consider their teeth. However, your gum tissue and jaw bone also significantly contribute to the health of your mouth as a whole. Your teeth are retained by your gum tissue and bone. They consist of delicate fragile tissues. Unfortunately, similar to teeth, gums are also susceptible to infection.
One such infection is gingival disease, also referred to as “periodontal disease.” Plaque, which is composed of harmful microorganisms, is the cause of gum disease. When plaque hardens and calcifies, it transforms into tartar, which irritates and infects the gums, resulting in gum disease.
Gum disease has been linked to smoking, genetics, medications, hormonal fluctuations, and other illnesses. Some individuals are more susceptible to developing gum disease than others. It is also known that gum disease increases the risk of cardiovascular disease, stroke, and diabetes.
Two types of periodontal disease exist: gingivitis and periodontitis. If you experience any of the following symptoms, you may have either stage of periodontal disease:
- Red and puffy gums
- Gum pain or tenderness
- teeth that are mobile
- teeth look longer due to receding gum tissue
- Chronic bad odors
If you suspect you have periodontal disease, our Pasadena dental office can help.
Speaking of checkups with your local dentist, are you due for one? If so, be sure to call us now at 713-941-8261 if you are experiencing any of the warning signs of periodontal disease. Our office is located at 3421 Burke Rd Ste A, Pasadena, Texas 77504. Get the best in dental care for you and your family.