If you think you may have periodontal (gum) disease, chances are you just might be right.
Studies indicate that over 80 percent of adult Americans currently have some form of periodontal disease, ranging from inflammation of the gums to more serious conditions which can lead to tooth loss and other health problems.
Aqua Dental offers treatments to control, halt, and, if caught in its earliest stages, even reverse the effects of periodontal disease.
What Causes Periodontal Disease?
Periodontal disease is caused by the build-up of plaque, a clear film of bacteria located on the teeth which release acids that irritate the gums. In the more advanced stages of periodontal disease, these bacteria can even destroy the gums and bone that support teeth. Some of the common indicators of periodontal disease include red, sensitive, or swollen gums; gums that bleed during regular brushing or flossing; gums that have pulled away from the teeth; loose or movable teeth; any change in the fit of a partial denture; and constant bad breath or bad taste in the mouth.
If you are currently displaying any of these warning signs, schedule an appointment at Aqua Dental. Only a trained dental professional can properly identify whether you have periodontal disease and prescribe a course of treatment designed to restore your mouth to optimal health.
Bad Breath Therapy
Bad breath (or halitosis) can have many causes, including consumption of certain foods, inadequate brushing or flossing habits, and use of tobacco products. However, when bad breath does not go away, it may be an indication of a more serious problem. Constant bad breath is one of the first warning signs of periodontal disease; even a persistent bad taste in your mouth can indicate the development of periodontal issues. Dry mouth (xerostomia), which occurs when there is little or no saliva in the mouth, can also cause bad breath, as can use of medications which cause decreased salivary flow; medical conditions such as sinusitis, bronchitis, gastrointestinal disease, diabetes, and liver or kidney disease may also negatively affect your breath.
The first step in reducing bad breath involves treating any periodontal disease and establishing good oral habits, including brushing and flossing daily and regular dental cleanings. Dr. Rachel and Dr.Fernando recommend brushing your teeth and tongue two times daily with a fluoride toothpaste to remove plaque and food particles, and flossing once daily to remove particles from in between the teeth. Denture wearers need to remove their appliances at night, clean them and replace them in the morning.
Mouthwashes are not the cure-all for bad breath due to their short-acting effect, though antimicrobial mouth rinses can control excessive build-up of plaque, and use of a fluoride mouth rinse may also be recommended. Schedule an appointment at Aqua Dental if you have difficulty controlling bad breath.
Shrinkage or recession of the gums occurs when the protective periodontal tissue pulls away from the teeth, exposing the tooth roots to decay and frequently leading to temperature sensitivity. This recession is usually caused either by toothbrush abrasion or periodontal disease; during toothbrush abrasion, the enamel is worn away by use of horizontal brushing strokes. The other cause for gum recession is gum (periodontal) disease and loss of bone. When poor brushing and flossing habits fail to remove the bacterial film between the teeth and in hard-to-clean nooks and crannies, early-stage periodontitis bacteria release toxins that begin to destroy the bone around the teeth.
As this periodontal disease worsens, the teeth get longer as bone tissue recedes around the roots of the teeth more quickly than the infected gum tissue. As a patient loses more bone, the teeth start to move and become mobile. Periodontal disease can progress slowly for years without any painful symptoms; however, a bad taste in the mouth or bad breath is usually associated with the disease. If periodontal disease is caught early, it can be controlled or even reversed, but if left untreated, the disease will continue to destroy bone mass and eventually the teeth.
In extreme cases, the bone ridge can be destroyed, at which point even dentures cannot be fitted properly. If you think you have periodontal disease or display signs of gingival recession, come to Aqua Dental located in Boynton Beach, where Dr. Rachel and Dr. Fernando will perform a thorough periodontal examination and recommend a course of action to restore your mouth to optimal oral health.
Periodontal Disease and Its Relationship to the Body
Recent evidence suggests that there is a direct correlation between periodontal disease and an increased risk of medical complications or conditions in the body, including the development of certain systemic diseases. Understanding this relationship between the two is vital in maintaining a healthy body.
- Stroke: there is an increased risk of stroke in men and women with adult periodontitis.
- Infections of the respiratory system: bacteria present in the mouth can cause respiratory diseases such as pneumonia when inhaled into the lungs.
- Heart disease: people with periodontal conditions have an elevated risk of heart attack, are more likely to have a diagnosis of cardiovascular disease, and are more at risk for clotting problems.
- Severe osteopenia (decrease in bone mineral density): reduced bone mass is associated with periodontal disease and tooth loss. This condition often appears in post-menopausal women.
- Uncontrolled diabetes: periodontal disease can cause problems controlling diabetes, including an overproduction of bacteria in the mouth. Smokers with diabetes are more likely to lose teeth, and patients with type II diabetes are more susceptible to periodontal disease.
- Low birth weight and premature births: Women with advanced periodontal conditions are more likely to give birth to a premature or low birth weight baby. Oral microbial infections can also cross the placenta, exposing the fetus to infections.