Hypertension has been known for years as the silent killer, because most people who have high blood pressure are unaware they have the disease. The same can be true in the case of periodontal disease, which is also known to show no signs until it has progressed to the stage where the individual is losing their teeth.

The warning signs include bleeding and inflammation of the gums and tenderness, while brushing, flossing and eating hard foods. When your gums recede or pull away from your teeth is when one of those dreaded trips to the dentist is warranted. If left unattended plaque will spread and grow below the gum line.  The toxins produced by bacteria in plaque stimulate an inflammatory response in
which the body turns on itself. Tissues and bones that support the teeth are
broken down and destroyed.

The gums begin to separate from the teeth, forming pockets (spaces between teeth and gums) that become infected. As the disease progresses, the pockets deepen and more gum tissue and bone are destroyed. Eventually, teeth become loose and may have to be removed.

At this point, you really need to see a periodontist. This is a dentist who is trained in the prevention, diagnosis and treatment of gum disease. If you value of your oral hygiene and health, an evaluation is in order for peridontal disease especially in the following situations:

  • gums that bleed easily, such as during brushing or flossing
  • red, tender and swollen gums
  • gums that have been separated from the teeth
  • persistent bad breath
  • pus between the teeth and gums
  • loose or separating teeth
  • a change in the way your teeth fit when biting
  • pain or irritation in the mouth that does not heal

If you are diagnosed with periodontal disease, the periodontist may recommend surgery. This is a last resort when it is determined that the tissue around the teeth is unhealthy and cannot be repaired surgically.

What can you do to prevent periodontal disease?

  • To keep your teeth for a lifetime, you must remove the plaque from your
    teeth and gums every day with proper brushing and flossing. This is the
    golden rule of personal dental care.
  • Regular dental visits are a necessity. It is recommended to see a
    dentist at least twice a year for monitoring.
  • Daily cleaning will help keep stones from forming to a minimum, but not
    completely avoided. A professional cleaning at least twice a year is
    necessary to eliminate the calculation of the areas can lose with flossing
    and brushing teeth.  If  plaque is not removed through regular brushing and
    flossing can harden into tartar (also called tartar). Calculus is plaque
    that has been mineralized, forming a tough, crusty deposit that can only be
    removed by your dentist or hygienist.
  • Researchers have found that drinking a daily cup of green tea reduces
    the instance of peridontal disease. This could be explained by the ability
    of tea to reduce the symptoms of the disease because of the antioxidant
    catechin in green tea.Antioxidants have the ability to reduce inflammation in the body and the
    symptoms associated with bleeding gums. Green tea may be useful in promoting
    oral health and ward off other diseases. By interfering with the body’s
    inflammatory response to periodontal bacteria, green tea can help promote
    periodontal health, and warding off further illness.

Researchers have shown that bacteria associated with periodontal disease can travel into the blood stream and pose a threat to other parts of the body.  Maintaining healthy gums is essential for a healthy body.

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Filed under: Dental Hygiene

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