Periodontal Gum Care

Periodontal disease, also known as gum disease, is a common condition that affects the tissues surrounding the teeth. It is caused by bacteria in dental plaque, a sticky film that forms on the teeth and gums.

There are two main stages of periodontal disease: gingivitis and periodontitis. Gingivitis is the early stage and is characterized by inflammation of the gums. Symptoms include redness, swelling, and bleeding gums, especially during brushing or flossing. However, at this stage, the bone and connective tissues that hold the teeth in place are still intact, and the condition is reversible with proper treatment.

If gingivitis is left untreated, it can progress to periodontitis. In periodontitis, the gums begin to pull away from the teeth, forming spaces called periodontal pockets. Bacteria can accumulate in these pockets and cause infection. Over time, the body's immune response and the toxins released by the bacteria can break down the bone and tissues that support the teeth, leading to tooth loss if left untreated.

Several factors can increase the risk of developing periodontal disease, including poor oral hygiene, smoking, genetic predisposition, hormonal changes (such as during pregnancy), certain medical conditions (such as diabetes), and certain medications.

Treatment for periodontal disease depends on the severity of the condition. In mild cases, a professional dental cleaning, improved oral hygiene practices, and regular check-ups may be sufficient to control the disease. However, in more advanced cases, procedures such as scaling and root planing (deep cleaning), gum surgery, or bone grafting may be necessary to restore the health of the gums and supporting tissues.

Preventing periodontal disease involves maintaining good oral hygiene habits, including brushing your teeth at least twice a day, flossing daily, and visiting your dentist regularly for check-ups and professional cleanings. Additionally, avoiding tobacco use, eating a balanced diet, and managing systemic health conditions can help reduce the risk of developing periodontal disease.

It's important to consult with Michael R. Gomez, DDS for an accurate diagnosis and appropriate treatment plan if you suspect you may have periodontal disease.

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