Periodontal Disease: Causes, Prevention, and Treatment at Ballantyne Family Dentistry

What is Periodontal Disease?

Periodontal (gum) disease is a common oral condition that affects the health of your gums. It often occurs due to poor oral hygiene and failure to keep up with regular dental cleanings. Almost 50 percent of adults over age 30 have some type of periodontal disease. Over time, gum disease can cause tooth and underlying bone loss.

What are the Causes of Periodontal Disease?

Periodontal disease can be both genetic and lifestyle-related. Regardless of the cause of the disease, it is almost always preventable with proper oral hygiene and regular trips to the dental office for cleanings. The most common causes of gum disease include:

  • Poor oral hygiene
  • Smoking and smokeless tobacco
  • Hormonal changes
  • Diabetes and other medical conditions
  • Bruxism (tooth grinding)
  • Certain medications
  • Poor diet

What can you do to prevent Periodontal Disease?

There are several things that you can do to prevent gum disease. The first and most vital way of preventing gum disease is with proper oral hygiene. This includes not only brushing your teeth using a high-quality electric toothbrush and fluoridated toothpaste, but flossing between teeth. Failure to floss can leave plaque and bacteria lingering between teeth, which can irritate and inflame the gums. If you’re a smoker or chew tobacco, it’s never too late to quit. For individuals who have medical conditions or poor dietary habits, it’s best to work with your doctor to take control of your health, weight and the way that you eat. Cut out sugary snacks and drinks, and always remember to brush your teeth soon after eating.

How can we help in preventing and treating Periodontal Disease?

Another way to prevent gum disease from developing is to make regular trips to the dental office. A professional cleaning helps to remove tartar, which is hardened plaque that builds up on many surfaces of the teeth. Tartar can develop quickly and is nearly impossible to remove safely on your own with brushing and flossing alone. If this tartar is left behind, it can irritate and infect the gums, causing periodontal disease. These cleanings should be done every six months, or more often according to your dental needs.

If you think you might have gum disease and want to come in for an appointment, contact our office today and we will be more than happy to help.

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