Are You Suffering From This Common Disease?
When patients visit our office for a routine examination, one of their biggest concerns is whether they have tooth decay. There is another serious issue we look for besides tooth decay when we inspect your teeth: periodontal disease. Also known as gum disease, periodontal disease occurs when the gums become irritated and infected. If left untreated, gum disease can lead to severe complications with your oral health, such as tooth loss. It can also lead to serious issues with your overall health, such as heart disease, diabetes, stroke, and can lead to pregnancy complications.
Signs of Periodontal Disease
Unfortunately, periodontal disease does not have extremely noticeable warning signs, like other oral health issues might. There is typically no discomfort in the early stages of the disease, and for many patients, detection comes only once the disease is already quite far along. Between routine appointments in our office, it is important to be mindful of your oral health and keep track of any changes you notice. Symptoms of periodontal disease include:
- Swollen or irritated gums
- Gums that are excessively red
- Bleeding gums when you brush your teeth
- Unexplained bad breath
- Gums that are receding or pulling away from the teeth
- Loose or sensitive teeth
What Causes Periodontal Disease?
Periodontal disease is often caused by a lack of oral care. We see you so infrequently during the year, so the responsibility of your oral care falls mostly on your shoulders. This includes regularly brushing and flossing your teeth. Patients should be brushing for two minutes twice a day and flossing at least once a day. Periodontal disease is also more common in patients who smoke or have a family history of the disease. Patients who are pregnant are also more likely to develop periodontal disease. Be sure to maintain your regular oral hygiene examination appointments. We typically recommend patients visit every six months.
If you are in North Huntingdon, PA or the surrounding area and are noticing any of the warning signs mentioned above, or if you have not visited our office within the past 6 months for a hygiene examination, call to schedule an appointment today. We look forward to seeing you soon!