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Understanding Periodontal Disease

Nov 03, 2021

Understanding Periodontal Disease

Periodontal disease is not only prevalent but extremely dangerous, especially if you allow it to progress. Read on to learn about periodontal disease so you can keep smiling.

When it comes to oral health and care, our patients often worry about their teeth. After all, you want teeth that look white and clean. And caring for your teeth translates to a healthy mouth, as well as an attractive smile. 

Unfortunately, far too many people fail to focus on their oral health in day-to-day living, which is just one reason why many Americans suffer from periodontal disease

We at Ueno Center Dental Specialists want to offer you the best treatment for your oral health. That also includes providing you with information about common pitfalls and knowledge about the best preventive practices available for all aspects of your oral health.

You can trust our founder, Jeremy K. Ueno, DMD, and our team of periodontists to provide you with the best in oral health care at our office in Campbell, California. 

Periodontal disease 101

Periodontal disease may seem like a minor issue, but it’s actually very serious. Over 47% of American adults 30 years and older have at least some form of periodontal disease. 

In a nutshell, periodontal disease occurs when the plaque building up around your gums hardens into tartar and extends below the line of the gums. This makes it harder for you to clean it away and leads to inflammation. 

What causes periodontal disease, sadly, is poor oral hygiene. In fact, the problem is largely preventable, but it occurs so often because many people either do not take good care of their oral health at home, do not visit a dentist often enough, or both. 

Understanding periodontal disease will help you prevent it and also help you know when and why to seek treatment if it does occur. You can learn more about the problem on our FAQ page.

Stages of gum disease 

It’s also important to understand the different stages of the disease. Periodontal disease starts with a minor type of inflammation called gingivitis. Swelling or red gums, bleeding during brushing and flossing, and bad breath are all signs of gingivitis. 

Gingivitis can be reversed, but after periodontal disease (or periodontitis) occurs, it is much more difficult to fix. A diagnosis of periodontitis means the infection caused by gingivitis has spread to the bone. 

We can treat periodontitis with deep cleaning processes such as root planing and scaling, which allow us to remove bacteria from the deep pockets that have formed in your gums. If periodontitis progresses, it moves from slight to moderate to severe. 

The dangers of periodontal disease 

You may be thinking, “If periodontal disease can be treated, should I be worried?” The truth is that periodontal disease doesn’t just cause problems for your gum health. 

If you allow periodontal disease to progress, your jawbone could deteriorate and you could lose teeth. In addition, the bacteria can then enter your bloodstream, causing a number of serious side effects like coronary artery disease, arthritis, and respiratory problems.

Risk factors for gum disease

It’s true that brushing twice daily, flossing daily, and making regular visits to your dentist are effective ways to avoid periodontitis. But there are other risk factors that make you even more susceptible to this illness. They include:

  • Smoking 
  • Hormonal changes 
  • Genetics 
  • Certain vitamin deficiencies such as vitamin C 
  • Immunocompromising diseases and other illnesses such as diabetes and rheumatoid arthritis 

Get help for periodontal disease

Do you think you might have periodontal disease? There’s no time like the present to seek help. Just call us for an appointment at our Campbell, California, office.