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The term “Periodontal” means “around the tooth.” So, simply, periodontal disease (periodontitis) is a disease around the tooth, a bacterial infection that affects the gums and bones that support the teeth. It can affect a tooth or many teeth and begins when bacterial plaque causes inflammation in the gums.
In the milder form of periodontal disease, gingivitis, gums become reddened (inflamed), swell and bleed easily.
Usually there is no discomfort. Gingivitis is often caused by inadequate oral hygiene. Gingivitis is reversible with professional treatment and good oral hygiene at home. Untreated gingivitis can accelerate periodontitis in patients who are susceptible to this disease.
Over time, plaque can spread and grow below the gum line. The toxins produced by the bacteria on the plaque irritate the gums.
Toxins stimulate a chronic inflammatory response causing destruction of the tissues and bones that support the teeth. The gums separate from the teeth, forming some pockets (spaces between the teeth and gums) that infect.
As the disease progresses, those pockets deepen and more tissue and gum bone are destroyed. Often, this destructive process has very mild symptoms.
Eventually, the teeth may become loose and may have to be removed.
The main cause of periodontal disease is the bacterial plaque, a sticky, colorless pellicle that constantly forms on the teeth consisting of twelve specific bacteria.
However, other factors that I will describe below also affect the health of your gums.
As you probably know, tobacco use is linked to many serious diseases, such as cancer, lung disease and heart disease, as well as numerous other health problems.
What you may not know is that smokers are also at increased risk for periodontal disease.
In fact, recent studies have shown that tobacco use may be one of the most significant risk factors in the development and progression of periodontal disease.
Recent researchs shows that up to 30% of the population may be genetically susceptible to gum disease.
Despite aggressive habits and carelessness in oral hygiene, these people may be six times more likely to develop periodontal disease.
As a woman, you know that your health needs are unique. You know that brushing and flossing daily, a healthy diet and regular exercise are important to help you stay in shape. Also you know that at specific times in your life you’ll need to take better care of himself. When we grow up, for example, puberty or menopause, and times when you has special health needs, such as menstruation or pregnancy.
During these specific times, your body has hormonal changes. These changes can affect many of your body’s tissues, including your gums. Your gums can become sensitive and, at times, react strongly to hormonal fluctuations. This can make you more susceptible to gum disease.
As you probably already know, stress is linked to many serious diseases such as hypertension, cancer and many other health problems. What you may not know is that stress is also a risk factor for periodontal disease.
A research has shown that stress can make it harder for the body to fight infections, including periodontal disease.
Some medications, such as oral contraceptives, antidepressants, and certain heart medicines, can affect your oral health. Just as you tell your pharmacist and other health care professionals about all the medicines you are taking and any changes in your overall health, you should also talk with your dentist.
Has anyone ever told you to grind your teeth at night? Is your jaw sore from clenching your teeth when you are testing or resolving a problem at work?
Tightening or grinding the teeth can exert excessive force on the supporting tissues of the teeth and accelerate the rate of destruction of these periodontal tissues mainly in the presence of existing periodontal disease in some people.
Diabetes is a disease that causes altered blood sugar levels. Diabetes develops from a deficiency in insulin production or the inability of the body to use insulin properly. If you are diabetic, you are at increased risk of developing infections, including periodontal diseases.
As you may already know, a diet low in important nutrients can compromise the crucial functions of our body, like the immune system and make it more difficult for the body to fight infection. As periodontal disease is a serious infection, poor nutrition can worsen the health of your gums.
If you feel that your gums bleed heavily, are always swollen, have a large gum retraction, teeth shake, have bad breath or have family members with periodontitis, see a dentist who engages in these types of conditions
A good diagnosis and planning can slow down the process of periodontitis or treat your oral health in a more definitive way.
Periodontal diseases, including gingivitis and periodontitis, are serious infections that, if not treated with good planning from the start, can lead to the loss of all teeth.