Periodontal disease, also known as gum disease, attacks the supporting structures of the teeth, causing inflammation, tooth loss and bone damage. Plaque, a film of bacteria formed on the teeth, forms acids in the mouth by mixing with sugars and starches in the diet; thus, irritating the gum tissue. Gum disease can also be caused by other factors including irregular oral states or harmful habits, an unbalanced diet and certain medications or diseases.
The effects of gum disease can be damaging to your dental health, as well as your overall health. Periodontal disease is linked to heart disease, stroke and low birth weight in babies.
Some effects of gum disease include:
- Swollen or puffy red gums that bleed easily
- “Long” teeth (receding gum lines expose the root portions of your teeth)
- Discolored or deteriorating tooth structure
- Gum depressions (holes in between the teeth in the gum tissue)
- Infected gum line (discoloration or inflammation of the gum tissue)
- Tooth loss or tooth movement
- Bad breath
Here’s how you can prevent gum disease:
- Brush your teeth twice a day (with a fluoride toothpaste)
- Floss once a day
- Make regular visits to see Dr. Sara and her team for a checkup and cleaning
- Eat a well-balanced diet
- Don’t use tobacco products
- Clean your teeth and gums
Proper oral hygiene, daily dental care and regular dental checkups will minimize the risk of this inflammatory disease.