Gum, or periodontal disease, is among the most prevalent medical conditions affecting people globally. Almost 80% of Americans suffer from it at some point in life. Though not a serious dental issue, it can worsen over a period of time, leading to tooth loss if left untreated.
While the most common manifestation of gum disease is bleeding gum Parkland, FL dentists offer a comprehensive assessment of the condition through the different stages of disease progression.
What is periodontal disease?
Periodontal or gum disease is one of the leading causes of tooth loss. It is characterized by an infection and inflammation of the supporting and surrounding soft tissues of the tooth, eventually affecting the jawbone during the advanced stage.
Dental plaque and bacteria are considered to be the culprits that cause gum disease. Poor oral hygiene can give way to increased plaque accumulation, which favors the colonization of bacteria. These microorganisms release harmful toxins that destroy the soft tissues. As the disease progresses, the pockets grow deeper, which eventually affects the underlying jawbone.
Possible periodontal risk factors include:
- Genetic predisposition
- Poor oral hygiene
- Smoking and tobacco use
- Hormonal imbalance during puberty, pregnancy, and menopause
Periodontal disease clinical features include:
- Reddish or purplish gums
- Gum soreness and tenderness
- Halitosis (bad breath)
- Unpleasant metallic taste
- Receding gums
- Gingival pockets
- Tooth staining
- Loose teeth
What are the types of periodontal disease?
There are four stages of periodontal disease, namely:
- This is the most common type of periodontal disease with significant attachment loss.
- This leads to deep pockets and gum recession.
- This is a sudden onset of soft tissue erosion that occurs in a healthy individual.
- It is characterized by rapid loss of gum attachment and chronic bone destruction.
- This form of gum disease most often occurs in people with compromised immunity due to conditions like HIV or malnutrition.
- The periodontal ligament (PDL), gingiva, and alveolar bone go through stages of tissue death (necrosis).
Periodontitis caused by systemic disease
- This type of gum disease is common among young individuals due to certain medical conditions like diabetes and heart disease.
How is periodontal disease treated?
Treatment depends on the type of the disease and the severity of the symptoms.
Your dentist may recommend the following treatment accordingly:
- Antibiotic mouthwashes
- Lifestyle changes
- Deep scaling
- Root planing
- PRP (platelet-rich) therapy
- Pocket elimination surgery
- Tissue regeneration
- Gum grafting
- Bone grafting
Periodontal disease is a common dental problem suffered by many individuals. Fortunately, early detection can significantly halt the disease progression and reverse the signs of gingivitis.