What is Periodontal Disease?
Patients who experience frequent bad breath or have swollen or discoloured gums may suffer from periodontal disease. Periodontal disease is a common oral condition that causes the gums to recede. When the gums pull away from the teeth, they form infected pockets. The stages of periodontal disease include gingivitis, periodontitis, and advanced periodontitis.
Although periodontal disease can be painless, it is essential to watch for the following signs and symptoms:
- Swollen gums
- Red or tender gums
- Gums that recede
- Chronic bad breath or a bad taste in the mouth
- Spaces between the teeth
- Loose teeth
- Pus that surrounds the teeth and gums
What Causes Periodontal Disease?
Periodontal disease is caused by plaque. When plaque sticks to the teeth, the cells of the immune system release substances that cause the gums to become inflamed, which damages the periodontal ligament. If plaque is not removed, the bacteria will multiply, and the gum inflammation will increase.
Periodontal disease can be prevented by practising proper oral hygiene; this includes brushing and flossing. In addition, regular visits to the dentist will remove plaque build-up in areas that are difficult for patients to clean.
Several other factors can contribute to periodontal disease; these are listed below:
Genetics: Some patients are more prone to periodontal disease due to their genetic makeup. 30% of the population is believed to have a higher genetic susceptibility to this oral condition.
Tobacco use: Smoking increases the risk of periodontal disease. Patients with this unhealthy habit will have more tartar on their teeth and develop deeper periodontal pockets. Also, smoking increases the risk of bone loss.
Illness: Patients with specific diseases such as diabetes, rheumatoid arthritis, and HIV infection are more likely to develop severe periodontal disease.
Poor Nutrition: It is essential to eat a balanced diet to strengthen the immune system and promote good overall health.
Medications: Many medications cause patients to experience dry mouth. Examples include antidepressants and high blood pressure drugs. Plaque is more likely to form when a patient does not produce enough saliva in the mouth.
Benefits of Periodontal Laser Treatment
Periodontal disease can be treated using laser technology; some of the benefits of this include:
- Shorter treatment
- Less discomfort
- Longer lasting results
- Limited pain
- Safety for all patients
Periodontal disease, left untreated, can lead to significant health consequences such as abscess formation, severe infection, and tooth loss. It is always best to treat periodontal disease at the first sign to avoid costly and invasive treatment methods in the future.