Periodontal (Gum) Disease: An In-Depth Look Into The Symptoms, Causes, And Treatment Options

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How often do you see a dentist? Your dental health is just as important as your overall health. Therefore, regular visits to the dentist have several important benefits. Acquisition of good oral hygiene habits, early detection of dental and oral health issues, correction of tooth defects for the perfect smile and overall oral health, are some of the critical reasons to go for regular dental check-ups.

One of the common dental issues you are likely to develop if you neglect your dental hygiene and health is periodontal or gum disease. It's a gum infection that affects the soft tissue. If left untreated, periodontal disease can significantly damage the bone supporting your teeth, causing tooth loss or loosened teeth. Here's all there is to know about this dental disease.


Knowing the major causes of periodontal disease will go a long way in helping you take the necessary precautions. Generally, plaque is the major cause of periodontal or gum disease. Plaque is a sticky bacteria-containing film that forms on your teeth mainly from poor oral hygiene practices. It forms from the interaction of the bacteria in your mouth and starch in the food you eat. Plaque build-up over time will eventually result in tartar (mineral deposits from continued bacterial accumulation). Consequently, gum inflammation will start, causing periodontitis (periodontal disease) if untreated.

Overall, periodontal disease originates from poor oral hygiene because plaque reforms rapidly. Therefore, failure to brush and floss your teeth more than once daily can contribute to plaque build-up and eventually periodontal disease.


How can you tell that you have periodontal disease? Knowing the signs and symptoms of this disease will help you know it's time to visit a dentist. Usually, the signs and symptoms may vary depending on the stage of the disease. However, the typical symptoms include bad breath, receding gums, bleeding gums (usually when flossing or brushing your teeth), swollen, red, or tender gums, pain, and foul taste among others. Unfortunately, it's not always easy to notice some of these signs in the initial stages of the disease. Therefore, regular dental visits are critical because your dentist will be able to notice them early enough and prescribe the necessary treatment.

Treatment And Prevention

The best way to prevent periodontal disease is to practice good oral hygiene habits. Therefore, remember to brush and floss more than once daily to prevent plaque build-up. Reducing or avoiding tobacco chewing and smoking can also help prevent periodontal disease because smoking can put you at a higher risk of this gum disease.

If you've already been diagnosed with the disease, your dentist will prescribe treatment options that may include professional cleanings, medications, follow-up appointments, or surgery in severe cases. Look into general dentistry for more information.