Periodontitis—also known as gum disease—is a fairly common infection that affects the soft tissue and bone that surrounds a tooth. According to the American Dental Association (ADA), approximately 42% of adults have periodontitis.
When left untreated, periodontitis can affect the alveolar bone around the teeth. It can also have a lot more serious consequences when left untreated: they put patients at an increased risk of heart attacks and suffering from a stroke.
Below are a few symptoms to determine whether you may be suffering from periodontitis and what measures you can take to treat this at home.
As inflammation goes unchecked, our gums pull away from our teeth. This forms large pockets around our teeth. Periodontitis is caused by the buildup of bacterial plaque and on the surface of the tooth and in the pockets surrounding teeth; this is a great space for such bacteria to thrive. Swelling around the gums occurs when our immune systems try to combat the bacteria.
Symptoms of Periodontitis
Periodontitis manifests itself in several ways. One of them has been mentioned earlier: gum inflammation. This inflammation can be accompanied by your gums turning bright red, and sometimes purple. Other symptoms include:
- Extra space appearing between teeth
- Increased tooth sensitivity
- Receding gums
- Bleeding gums when brushing or flossing
- Gums hurting when touched
- Metallic tastein the mouth
Luckily, periodontitis can be kept in check through regular visits to the doctor and good oral hygiene practices. These, however, are preventative measures.
Once you begin noticing any of the symptoms, there are a few things you can do at home to relieve yourself of discomfort.
One of the first things you can do is to start brushing twice a day and carefully cleaning between the crevices and chewing surfaces of your teeth. According to the ADA, we should brush our teeth for an average of two minutes with a soft-bristled toothbrush.
Furthermore, the organization recommends using fluoride toothpaste which builds stronger enamel and prevents the formation of cavities. They also point out that its best if you replace your toothbrush every 3 months.
If you’re looking for a dental clinic in Bethesda, Maryland, visit us at Bethesda Dental Health.