Dental Care – Periodontal Disease – The Silent Gum Killer
Hypertension for years has been known as the silent killer because most people that have high blood pressure are not aware they have the disease. The same can hold true for periodontal disease which is also known for not showing tell tale signs of it until it has advanced to the stage where you are losing your teeth.
The warning signs are there which includes bleeding, tender and swollen gums while brushing, flossing and eating hard food. When your gems began receding or pulling away from your teeth it’s time for one of those dreaded trips to the dentist. If left unattended plaque will spread and grow below the gum line. The toxins produced by the bacteria in plaque will stimulate an inflammatory response in which the body turns on itself. The tissues and bone that support the teeth are broken down and destroyed.
The gums beginning separating from the teeth, forming pockets (spaces between the teeth and gums) that become infected. As the disease progresses, the pockets deepen and more gum tissue and bone are destroyed. Occasionally, the teeth become loose and may have to be removed.
At this point, you really need to see a periodontist. This is a dentist that is trained in the prevention, diagnosis and treatment of gum disease. If you value your oral hygiene as well as your health, a peridontal evaluation is in order especially in the following situations:
- Gums that bleed easily, such as during brushing or flossing
- Red, tender and swollen gums or gums that have pelled away from the teeth
- Persistent bad breath
- Pus between the teeth and gums
- Loose or separating teeth
- A change in the way your teeth fit together when you bite
- A sore or irritation in your mouth that does not heal
If you’re diagnosed with periodontal disease, the periodontist may recommend surgery. This is a last resort and is performed if it is determined that the tissue around your teeth is unhealthy and can not be repaired non-surgically.
What can you do to avoid periodontal disease?
In order to keep your teeth for a lifetime, you must remove 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 must. It is recommended you see a dentist at least twice a year for regular follow-ups.
- Daily cleaning will help keep tartar (plaque that has mineralized) formation to a minimum, but it will not completely prevent it. A professional cleaning at least twice a year is necessary to remove the tough crusty deposit from your teeth.
- Researchers have found that drinking a daily cup of green tea lowers the incidence of peridontal disease. This could be explained by the tea’s ability to reduce the symptoms of the disease because of the antioxidant catechin in the green tea. Antioxidants have the ability to reduce inflammation in the body and also the symptoms associated with bleeding gums. Green tea may actually be helpful in promoting oral health and also ward off other diseases. By interfering with the body’s inflammatory response to periodontal bacteria, green tea may actually help promote periodontal health, and ward off further disease.
Researches have shown that bacteria associated with periodontal disease can travel into the blood stream and pose a threat to other parts of the body.
The chance of developing periodontal disease increases as you age. Maintaining healthy gums is critical to having a healthy body.