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Causes and Symptoms of Periodontal Disease

Causes and Symptoms of Periodontal Disease

The accumulation of plaque is the leading cause of periodontal disease. Dentists recommend removing plaque by brushing at least twice a day and flossing at least once. Along with brushing and flossing at home, it is important to visit the dentist every six months for a professional exam and cleaning. No matter how good you are at brushing and flossing, it is impossible to remove plaque from every nook and cranny of your mouth. When plaque builds, it turns into tartar. Tartar can only be removed by a professional. As plaque and tartar accumulate, the bacteria that cause tooth decay multiply. If your teeth and gums experience enough decay, you will likely develop periodontal disease.


Several risk factors other than poor oral hygiene exist when it comes to developing periodontal disease. Smoking puts the person at a particularly high risk of developing periodontal disease. Age also seems to play a role, with periodontitis being most common after 35. When women undergo hormonal changes during puberty, menstruation, pregnancy, and menopause, they are at a higher risk of developing periodontal disease. Genetic factors and systemic illnesses also contribute to the development of gum disease.


The first stage of periodontal disease is called gingivitis. Gingivitis is characterized by red, swollen gums that bleed easily when brushing or flossing. Many people who suffer from gingivitis also develop bad breath. At this point, periodontal disease is highly treatable and reversible. Improving oral hygiene and stopping smoking can go a long way in restoring health back to your teeth and gums. If gingivitis is left untreated, it will develop into periodontitis. At this point, the disease is characterized by red gums, periodontal pockets deeper than 3 mm, loss of bone and other connective tissues, and loose teeth. If periodontitis is left untreated, you will start to lose teeth and affect your overall health.


If you are suffering from any stage of gum disease, contact our office to set up a periodontal treatment.


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