According to the most recent (1999-2004) National Health and Nutrition Examination Survey (NHANES), 8.52% of American adults aged 20-64 have periodontal (gum) disease. Periodontal disease involves a chronic bacterial infection that destroys the tissues that support the teeth including the gums, the periodontal ligaments and the tooth sockets (alveolar bone). If left untreated, periodontal disease can lead to serious dental health problems. In fact, periodontal disease is the most common cause of tooth loss among adults.
Many cases of periodontal disease are the result of poor oral hygiene and inadequate brushing and flossing. Smoking or using other types of tobacco products is also a significant risk factor for developing periodontal disease. Finally, general illness, pregnancy, and uncontrolled diabetes can also increase your risk for developing gum disease.
The symptoms of periodontal disease include the following:
- Bleeding gums
- Bright red or purple appearance to gums
- Gums that are tender when touched
- Mouth sores
- Swollen gums
- Shiny appearance to gums
Treatment for periodontal disease ranges from professional deep cleaning and medications to oral surgery, depending on the severity. Getting regular dental check-ups, brushing and flossing daily, and eliminating smoking and tobacco use are the best defense against periodontal disease.
If you are experiencing any of the symptoms above, or if you think you might have periodontal disease, it is important to be seen by a qualified Dentist as soon as possible. An experienced Dentist can examine your mouth and teeth and determine if you are suffering from periodontal disease. If so, he or she can develop a plan to eliminate the infection and prevent further damage to your teeth and gums.
Posted on behalf of