periodontal disease

Periodontal Disease: Causes, Symptoms, Prevention, & Reversal

Busy American lifestyles too often lead people to skip daily oral hygiene regimens. Forgetting to brush and floss regularly, unhealthy food choices, and failing to schedule routine cleanings have led to more than 64 million Americans over 30 years old suffering from periodontal disease.

As a periodontist Vero Beach and Melbourne, FL residents rely on, our staff of experienced professionals believe that knowledge is the first step to making improved oral hygiene choices. We hope this critical information about the causes and solutions for periodontal disease helps our community members make informed decisions.

Periodontal Disease Causes & Symptoms

Commonly referred to as “gum disease,” this inflammatory condition impacts the hard and soft tissues inside the mouth. When periodontal disease first presents, many people call it gingivitis. This early stage is typically identified by swollen gums, redness, and bleeding when brushing or flossing. These symptoms are reactions to the presence of harmful bacteria in the mouth that is not being adequately managed. Along with inadequate dental hygiene practices, other factors can lead to this unfortunate condition as well.

  • Acute Periodontal Disease: Also referred to as “necrotizing ulcerative periodontal disease,” it often happens without warning. It is widely associated with sleep dysfunction and poor nutrition.
  • Health Conditions: People with diabetes or cancer can also suffer gum disease unexpectedly, even when following healthy oral hygiene practices.
  • Aggressive Periodontitis: This type also presents unexpectedly and quickly causes teeth to loosen. It may remain in a localized area in the mouth. However, it does have the ability to spread rapidly.

In most cases, the gums start to pull away from the teeth. It’s not unusual for gum destruction to ensue, followed by bone loss. Loose teeth and infections escalate as periodontal disease festers. When people do not see a dentist to treat this spreading condition, tooth loss can occur. The loss can only be corrected by dental implants, bridges, or dentures.

How to Prevent Periodontal Disease

When seen by our trusted dentists in Vero Beach or Melbourne, FL a periodontal disease diagnosis can usually be made through a visual examination and imaging scans. Rather than suffer the health and wellness consequences, here are ways our valued community members can prevent this condition from manifesting.

  • Brush Teeth Twice Daily
  • Floss Between Teeth Daily
  • Avoid Sugary Foods & Beverages
  • Schedule Regular Cleanings

Maintaining a beautiful smile requires consistent oral hygiene practices and routine checkups. However, there are measures you can take to reverse gum disease if necessary.

Ways to Reverse Periodontal Disease

There are several ways to stop the spread and reverse the effects of periodontal disease. These include improved oral hygiene, medications, dental procedures, surgery, and dental implants.

  • Medications: There is a wide range of medications on the market designed to curb this condition. In the early gingivitis stages, medicated mouthwashes can prove effective when coupled with good oral hygiene regimens. Treatments that include enzyme suppressants, oral antibiotics, and antiseptic chips, may also prove effective.
  • Dental Procedures: Scaling and planing remain tried-and-true methods of removing plaque and calcium buildups. Root planing is often employed to eliminate deposits that have formed under the gumline.
  • Soft Tissue Grafting: When gums recede due to periodontal disease, the impacted area may require reinforcement. Small amounts of tissue may be surgically transferred from the roof of the mouth. In some cases, it may be necessary to receive tissue from a donor. The process helps cover and protect teeth roots.
  • Bone Grafting: Periodontal disease can destroy the bones that hold teeth in place. When this occurs, small fragments may be taken from another part of the body and inserted. This procedure helps create a foundation for healthy teeth and prevent future tooth loss.
  • Dental Implants: In serious cases, periodontal disease can destroy teeth. In these instances, dental implants may be the best way to enjoy the quality of life benefits and vibrant smile you deserve.

If you are experiencing signs or symptoms that point to periodontal disease, it’s crucial to promptly schedule an appointment. The sooner we examine you and make a diagnosis, the better the chances of minimizing the damage and restoring your oral health and wellness. If you need treatment for gum disease, seek the help of a board-certified periodontist at Vero Implants and Periodontics.