Chances are high that you will have periodontal disease or gum disease in your lifetime. Over 80% of adults do. With those odds, it may seem inevitable that you will have it, but why not be in the 20% that don’t? You can, all it takes is diligent, thorough and proper oral care.
Second - THE SYMPTOMS: This is not so easy. Often gum disease has no symptoms so it is left untreated until it becomes so bad irreparable bone loss occurs. Outward signs of periodontitis are:
• Bad breath that won’t go away
• Red or swollen gums
• Bleeding gums especially after tooth brushing
• Tender or sore gums
• Loose teeth
• Receding gums
Third - THE DIAGNOSIS: During regular six month cleanings, a dentist can diagnose periodontal disease in its very early stages. Xrays determine if any bone loss has occurred. Periodontal probing determines the depth of the pockets or space that the gums have loosened around the tooth. High levels of plaque or tartar build up that have spread to below the gum line is another indication.
Fourth - THE TREATMENT: If you have perio issues, there are several steps that a dentist may recommend depending on the severity of the case. The most important action is meticulous at home daily oral care. Teeth must be brushed twice or more times each day for at least two minutes and flossed at least once per day. Other treatments include prescription oral rinses, three month perio cleanings, scaling and root planing (SRP) and surgery.
Last but not least – PREVENTION: The most important preventative measure to avoid the insidious gum disease is to take excellent care of your teeth. Proper cleaning at least twice a day is imperative. The goal is to keep the bacteria that cause the plaque at very low levels.