What is Periodontal Disease?
Periodontitis, which is also referred to as periodontal disease or gum disease, is an issue which many people all throughout the country deal with. It starts with a growth of bacteria in the mouth and can ultimately lead to tooth decay and loss, as well as a lot of destruction to the soft tissues that surround the teeth. That’s because the infection is concentrated right on the specific tissues that hold and secure these teeth in place.
It can come as a result of a number of different issues but is usually brought on by poor oral hygiene habits and an unsatisfactory home care regimen. It starts out with difficulty chewing hard foods, bleeding when flossing or brushing, and sensitivity to cold/hot foods or fluids. When left untreated for long periods, it can result in tooth loss.
Various Causes of Periodontal Disease
As previously stated, there are a number of possible causes for the onset of periodontal disease, with the main one being poor dental health practices. But there are also others which are certainly worth mentioning as they affect patients who otherwise practice good oral habits, such as certain illnesses which can lead to developing gum disease.
Things like HIV or cancer have an incredible impact on the immune system, weakening it and making it susceptible to such attacks. Diabetes is another condition that shares a direct connection to periodontitis as the two problems tend to create complications for each other. Specifically, because of the body’s inability to properly regulate blood sugar, it can lead to more of it staying in the system and causing cavities and other dental related issues.
Certain medications can also impact dental health by causing severe dry mouth or other symptoms which make the breeding and festering of bacteria much easier. Other medications can actually cause gum tissue to grow abnormally. Smoking and poor dietary and nutritional choices can also impact gum and dental bone health as well. There is also the possibility of a family history of this type of condition which means genetics may play a role in some cases.
Effects on Oral and Overall Health
While the short-term effects of this disease are bad enough, the long-term health issues that could develop as a result of continued neglect are even worse. These can include heart disease, the development of diabetes (or the worsening of it when already present), rheumatoid arthritis, and even dementia in patients of a more advanced age.
It can even lead to issues with pregnant women such as premature birth and lower birth weights. This makes early detection and treatment the most critical aspect of dealing with this aggressive disease, to make sure that you get in under control in its early stages.
To find out if you are in the early stages of periodontal disease, or if you are already diagnosed and need to begin a proper treatment program, come by our clinic here at Dr. Hilton Israelson. If you would rather speak with us over the phone prior to stopping by, simply call us at (972) 669-9444.