Your mouth is widely considered to be one of the most vascular parts of your body. Hence it is very important to keep your mouth healthy. A very surprising fact is that people don’t put a lot of thought into maintaining their mouths. In fact, most people believe that their mouths are healthy even if they experience any bleeding, foul smell, pain, or any visible discoloration. Sadly, bad breath and bleeding gums are usually one of the first signs of a periodontal or gum disease. Here are 5 things that you need to know about periodontal disease.
What Is Periodontal Disease?
The word ‘Periodontal’ is derived from the words ‘peri’ which means around and ‘odontal’ that stands for teeth. Together, the word periodontal stands for the area surrounding your teeth that is the gums. Periodontal diseases are infections of the alveolar bone, the periodontal ligament, the cementum that covers the root, and the gums. The early stage of periodontal disease is commonly known as gingivitis. It is an infection that generally only affects your gums. However severe cases of gingivitis can also affect the supporting tissues, bone, and ligaments around your teeth.
How Do You Get Periodontal Disease?
The most common cause of periodontal disease is the bacteria in dental plaque. It starts as gingivitis, and if you ignore it and leave it untreated, you are letting it turn itself into periodontal disease. Basically, your body starts to get rid of any bacteria that might be present. As a way to rid itself of this bacteria in your mouth, it starts to release a substance that inflames the alveolar bone, periodontal ligament, or gums. Hence your gums start to bleed and swell up causing discomfort and often a foul smell.
Even though plaque is the main cause of periodontal disease and gingivitis. Some other things can cause these diseases, such as:
Hormone changes – If you are undergoing any major hormonal changes such as menopause, puberty, or even pregnancy, you are more prone to contracting periodontal disease.
Illness – Some illnesses can cause deficiencies to your immune system such as HIV, and cancer. These lower your body’s defenses against diseases and make you more susceptible to bacterial infections.
Medications – Many medications can cause side effects that can decrease your saliva level and make your mouth more prone to bacterial growth.
Habits- Some personal habits such as smoking can make it hard for your gum tissue to repair on its own, hence making it
Signs and Symptoms of Gum Diseases
Here are some common symptoms and signs of periodontal disease and gingivitis:
– Bleeding gums that can occur after and even during brushing your teeth
– Tender, swollen, or red gums
– Lingering bad-smelling breath or even a foul taste in your mouth
– Retreating gums
– Formation of some deep pockets between your gums and teeth
– Some noticeable changes in the manner in which your teeth fit together when you bite them down
How Is It Detected?
To correctly detect any periodontal disease, you should ideally get a dental exam. During the exam, your dentist looks for any signs of pocket formation between your gums and teeth, the firmness, swelling, and any bleeding in your gums.
Early Detection Is Important
Since periodontal diseases progress slowly, dentists can detect it in the early stages when gingivitis has not progressed. As it progresses, you might experience some discomfort and pain, which might need extensive treatments. Hence dentists stress the value of getting regular dental checks.