Periodontal disease, also known as gum disease, is a chronic bacterial infection that affects the gums, bones, and other supporting structures around the teeth. It typically begins with inflammation and irritation of the gums (gingivitis) and, if left untreated, can progress to more severe stages. In today’s blog, your Cleveland, TX, dentist discusses this disease and how deep cleanings help restore oral health.
What Causes Perio?
Periodontal disease is primarily caused by bacteria in dental plaque, a sticky film that forms on the teeth. Poor oral hygiene, or a lack of brushing and flossing, allows plaque to build up and harden into tartar, which contributes to the infection by acting like an irritating splinter to the gum tissues.
Several factors can increase the risk of developing periodontal disease. These include poor oral hygiene, smoking, hormonal changes (such as during pregnancy or menopause), certain medical conditions (such as diabetes), certain medications, genetic predisposition, and a weakened immune system.
Don’t Ignore a Little Bleeding
In the early stages, periodontal disease may not cause noticeable symptoms. You may see a little blood when you brush or notice your gums look slightly puffy or red. Gingivitis is an early stage characterized by gum inflammation but with no bone or tissue loss.
If left untreated, this phase will turn to periodontitis. This more severe form of periodontal disease involves the destruction of the supporting tissues and bone around the teeth. Symptoms can include red, swollen gums, bleeding while eating, receding gums, persistent bad breath, loose teeth, and changes in the way your teeth bite together.
How We Treat Periodontal Disease
If caught in the earliest stages a regular cleaning can be enough to restore health. We may increase the frequency of your cleanings until your gums appear healthy again. If the disease has progressed to deep pockets around the teeth, a deep cleaning or scaling and root planing will be necessary to arrest the disease process. Medication (such as antibiotics or antimicrobial rinses), and in more advanced cases, surgery or other interventions may be necessary if the bone loss is severe.
Schedule a Consultation Today
If you suspect you may have periodontal disease or have concerns about your gum health, it’s important to visit us for a comprehensive examination and appropriate treatment. Early detection and intervention can help prevent further damage and preserve your oral health. To schedule an appointment, call our office in Cleveland, TX, today at (281) 592-1234. We also proudly serve the residents of Kingwood, New Caney, Conroe, and all surrounding communities.