One of the most important things you can do to maintain your oral health — and overall health — is to practice good oral hygiene at home. Brushing and flossing your teeth twice a day has a bigger impact than you may think. Without it, plaque and food can build up on your teeth, resulting in bacteria that hardens into tartar. Left untreated, tartar can irritate the gums and lead to gum disease, otherwise known as periodontal disease. Unfortunately, it is a common disease. A study by the Center for Disease Control found that half of adult Americans have some kind of periodontal disease.
Types of Periodontal Disease
If you or your dentist notice that your gums are red and swollen, or bleed when brushing and flossing, you could have a common form of gum disease known as gingivitis. Besides poor dental hygiene, it can also be brought on by hormonal changes, such as in teenagers and pregnant women.
Preventing gingivitis is as simple as brushing and flossing daily as well as keeping up with dental cleaning appointments twice a year.
Periodontitis, like gingivitis, is also caused by bacteria in the plaque. The difference, however, is that periodontitis can lead to more severe oral health problems if left untreated. It can lead to bone loss within the teeth and once this sets in, the damage can not be reversed.
Besides poor hygiene, those with the following conditions are at a higher risk of contracting periodontitis:
- Those with uncontrolled diabetes
At Friendly Family Dentistry, we treat periodontitis with a deeper cleaning that includes scaling and root planing. Scaling removes plaque and tartar from the visible portion of your teeth. Root planing requires smoothing your tooth roots to prevent bacteria buildup.
Left unchecked, periodontal disease can lead to bone loss around your teeth, which only gum surgery can treat. We help our patients in the Terre Haute, Indiana area and surrounding communities maintain proper dental hygiene and treat them for periodontal disease because we care about your oral health. Please contact our office to schedule an appointment today.