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Periodontal Disease and How it Starts

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Patients don’t always know when periodontal disease strikes, but when it does, you’ll want to visit your local periodontist in Philadelphia as soon as possible. Also referred to as gum disease, periodontal disease is caused by an infection of the gum tissue surrounding and providing support to the teeth. When it is left to progress, it can lead to tooth loss. In fact, it is one of the major causes of such in adults. Because it is typically painless, many patients will not even notice that they have a problem until they can see it, at which point it’s progressed to a significant state.

Periodontal disease is caused by the buildup of plaque, the sticky and discolored sheath of bacteria that forms on the teeth. We remove this by brushing our teeth regularly, and when you do not, it builds up to an unhealthy level. In addition to visible plaque, there are a few other warning signs that can signal a problem with the gums. Patients should be on the lookout for bad breath, swollen and/or tender gums that bleed easily, and gums that have reddened. Changes of any kind should also be monitored, but your local periodontist in Philadelphia will especially be on the lookout for teeth that appear to be pulling away from the gums and changes in bite.

Poor oral hygiene is the main culprit for a plethora of dental issues, but smoking, using chewing tobacco, pregnancy, diabetes, and an array of medications can also play a major causal role. Crooked teeth are also much more difficult to clean properly and thus lead to more dental hygiene issues. See your local periodontist in Philadelphia if you suspect that you have gum disease- the sooner you begin treatment, the better the outcome. 

In the early stages, gum disease is referred to as gingivitis. At this stage, the disease and its effects can still be reversed and likely eliminated permanently if patients follow the prescribed care routine. Once gum disease has advanced into periodontitis, however, bone and tissue loss can become severe and irreversible. The teeth can start to move, causing structural damage, discomfort, and pain. 

Catching decay before it’s too late is pivotal. However, maintaining proper oral hygiene is an even better solution. Contact the offices of Barry Levin, DMD, to schedule a consultation that meets all of your dental needs, or visit us at www.aperiodoc.com to learn more today.