Are your gums red and swollen. Do they bleed easily when brushing or flossing your teeth. Are they pulling away from your teeth and exposing the roots? All these things are signs of periodontal disease: a chronic infection of the tissues and bone supporting your teeth. If not treated properly, periodontal disease can lead to serious dental health problems, including tooth loss. In fact, periodontal disease is currently the most common reason for tooth loss. So, what should you do?
If you have the symptoms above, it is important for you to see your dentist as soon as possible. He or she can properly diagnose the problem and recommend the most appropriate treatment based on the severity of the infection. If you have mild periodontal disease (Gingivitis), your dentist may recommend a professional cleaning and/or an anti-microbial rinse. If your disease is more advanced, he or she may recommend scaling and root planing. This is a very deep cleaning process that can be used to remove harmful bacteria from below your gum line. If your periodontal disease is extremely advanced (periodontitis), your dentist may prescribe stronger anti-microbial medications or recommend surgery.
Since periodontal disease is progressive in nature, it is important to diagnose it and treat it as soon as possible. Ignoring the signs of periodontal disease will only lead to more serious dental health problems. The best way to treat periodontal disease is to prevent it from occurring in the first place. This can be done by practicing good daily oral hygiene including thorough brushing and flossing. However, certain factors such as smoking and pregnancy can put you more at risk for periodontal disease. Smokers and women who are pregnant may need to visit the dentist more often for professional dental cleanings to prevent periodontal disease. For more information about preventing periodontal disease and the available treatments, talk to your dentist today.
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