What is periodontal (gum) disease?
Gum disease is inflammation and infection in your gums and bone. When left untreated, it can cause tooth and bone loss, putting your entire mouth at risk. Researchers linked periodontal disease to other systemic conditions such as heart disease, high blood pressure, stroke, and diabetes.
The main cause of gum disease is poor oral hygiene, although certain medical conditions, medications, and lifestyle habits may contribute as well. Even if you brush and floss regularly at home, you may find yourself fighting periodontal disease if you do not have regular dental cleanings. Brushing and flossing alone cannot remove all traces of calculus.
Symptoms of gum disease vary based on severity, but can include:
- Bad breath
- Red or swollen gums
- Loose teeth
- Sensitive teeth
- Pus around the gumline
- Bleeding gums
Treatment of periodontal disease in its early stages may mean a full recovery for your health. That is why calling for an appointment the moment you notice symptoms of an infection is essential. Treatment typically includes specialized dental cleanings that eliminate calculus, bacteria, and infection from your teeth and gums. Depending on how severe your condition is, you may also need site-specific antibiotics, antibiotic rinses, or even surgery to restore your health.
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