By the sound of it, Periodontitis seems scary, and something to stay away from. Well, that is completely true! Periodontitis is the swelling of the gums around the teeth. It is a severe gum infection that can damage the jawbone when left untreated. The gum starts to swell (because of the infection) and begins to pull away from the teeth. This causes the supporting tissue and jaw bone to deteriorate. Even though it can be painless, but it may still lead to several symptoms that are better to avoid.
Why should we care about Periodontitis?
- According to recent studies, scientists have found connections between gum disease and heart ailments. Research suggests that gum infections may increase the risk of clogged arteries and thus increase the risk of strokes as well. (Source: NCBI)
- In another report, it has been found that the microbiota in the mouth may affect gut health. This fact has been reported in high impact dental and medical journals as well. (Source: NCBI)
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Causes for Periodontitis
- Poor oral hygiene is the leading cause of gum infections
- Hormonal factors, illnesses like diabetes, cancer, and HIV can also raise the risk of causing gum infections
Signs and Symptoms of Periodontitis; How to identify?
One should always consult a dentist for a professional opinion and the right course of treatment. Periodontitis is caused by the bacteria present in dental plaque. When your body tries to get rid of the bacteria, it causes inflammation around the tooth, i.e., swollen, bleeding gums along with gum inflammation (which is the first stage of periodontitis). When the damage is severe, teeth become loose, and gums start to recede.
- Check your gums; healthy gums are supposed to be firm and pale pink that fit snuggly around teeth.
- Your gums are tender and start to bleed after brushing/
- Your teeth feel loose.
- Bad breath and a foul taste in your mouth.
- Signs of receding gums (gums that pull away from your teeth) and make your teeth look longer than usual.
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- Gum disease can only be prevented with proper plaque control.
- Brush and floss twice daily. You can floss (to remove plaque present between the teeth) once at night. Antibacterial mouth rinses are also found to aid in eliminating bacteria that cause plaque and gum disease. (Source: American Dental Association)
- Visit your dentist at regular intervals.
- Smoking reduces the chances of the treatment working, so don't smoke while you are focusing on treating your dental ailments.
- Periodontitis is a long-term inflammatory disease and will recur if good oral hygiene is not maintained.
Current research shows that periodontitis is not age-dependent, and during the last ten years, the number of reported cases of periodontitis in India has seen an alarming rise. (Source: NCBI).
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