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Is Periodontitis a Type of Gum Disease?
To achieve good oral health, you want to avoid gum disease along with cavities. Taking good care of your gums is essential. Periodontitis is one of the most common issues that dentists diagnose and treat in patients of all ages. You should understand more about this condition and how to prevent it.
An overview of gum disease
Periodontitis is a gum disease, much like gingivitis. It is an infection that damages the gums and can eventually lead to bone loss if not treated. If patients and dentists identify this condition early and treat it effectively, they can manage the symptoms and reverse the effects. Healthy gums are pink and do not puff up around the teeth. However, this type of gum disease manifests through swelling and reddening of the tissue.
Other signs of this gum disease
In later stages, it is apparent when a patient is struggling with this condition. At the outset of the disease, it may be more subtle. Along with inflammation and a darker gum color, there are other clues that a person has periodontitis. The gums may bleed easily when the individual brushes them or when the person eats. Someone with this condition may have bad breath or find pus between their teeth. Painful chewing or loose teeth are other indications that periodontitis is present.
The main causes
With diligent efforts, people can avoid this gum disease. Relaxing on good oral health practices could increase an individual’s chances of getting periodontitis. It starts when plaque begins to form on the patient’s teeth. This will harden and turn into tartar on the gumline. Without intervention, plaque will irritate the gums, causing gingivitis. The next step is periodontitis, where pockets between the teeth fill with bacteria.
How to prevent periodontitis
Though this gum disease is not rare among patients young and old, there are effective ways to keep it away. Regular brushing and flossing are the first lines of defense. Children and adults should practice good oral hygiene by brushing with a soft-bristled brush and a fluoride-based toothpaste at least twice a day. People should floss once a day, preferably before retiring for the night. It is also helpful to stay on top of dental visits. Going to the dentist’s office every six months for checkups will help keep gums in good condition.
The dentist may first start with scaling, which removes plaque and tartar from the teeth. The dentist may also smooth the root surfaces, which can get rid of bacteria and prevent more buildup. Medication such as antibiotics can also treat this gum disease. Oral antibiotics can kill the disease and prevent further infection.
Do your part to stop this disease
Taking care of your teeth is an important part of your health regimen. Remember to brush and floss every day. Never neglect your gums and continue to visit the dentist every six months. If you start to notice puffier, red gums, talk to a dentist near you. There are ways to treat this gum disease and avoid the problems it can cause.
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