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To Learn More about Periodontal Disease

"Oh dentist, my gum always bleeds when I brush my teeth! Do I have periodontal disease?" I often hear patients saying that they are worried about having periodontal disease, but what is periodontal disease?

What is Periodontal Disease?

Periodontal disease, as the name suggests, refers to the disease of tissues around the teeth caused by dental plaque adhering to teeth surface instead of the teeth themselves. If teeth are not cleaned properly and oral hygiene is poor, dental plaque long accumulated on the edge of the gum will secrete toxins and irritate tissues around the teeth and cause inflammation of the gum. If oral care is still not done well at this time, the inflammation will continue and other periodontal tissues, such as pericementum and alveolar bone, will be damaged and deteriorate into periodontal disease.

Causes of Periodontal Disease

Poor oral hygiene is the leading cause of periodontal disease. Although some people brush their teeth diligently, certain areas such as gaps between teeth, where bacteria are prone to accumulate, are difficult to be cleaned and require professional scaling. In addition, periodontal disease has a hereditary risk. If a close relative suffers from periodontal disease, the probability of having the disease among family members is relatively high. For patients with other systemic diseases, such as heart disease, diabetes and leukemia, their periodontal tissue is less capable of bacteria resistance. With weaker healing ability, once they have periodontal disease, it is more difficult for them to recover, so the disease could easily deteriorate and become severe. In addition, smokers are also more likely to suffer from periodontal disease than non-smokers, with up to five times or more chances, because chemical components in cigarettes, such as nicotine, can constrict blood vessels and make the initial symptoms of periodontal disease less obvious. Smoking also weakens the healing ability of periodontal tissue, leading to the rapid deterioration of periodontal disease.

Symptoms of Periodontal Disease
。Bleeding gum
。Swollen and painful gum
。Bad breath
。Gum recession, the exposure of tooth roots and enlarged gaps between teeth
。Sensitive teeth
。Pustules on gum
。Teeth loosening, displacement and even falling off

Consequences of Periodontal Disease

First of all, periodontal disease affects the appearance of patients. In addition to red and swollen gum and bad breath, patients with periodontal disease may also have gum recession, enlarged teeth gaps, loose teeth and even loss of teeth, which seriously weakens the patient's self-confidence and hinders normal social life.

In addition, periodontal disease will also affect daily eating. With gum recession, the tooth roots exposed may become sensitive. When eating sweet, sour, cold or hot food, the patients will feel a sharp pain. Loose, displaced or lost teeth will also make patients feel weak while chewing, reducing appetite and negatively affecting quality of life and physical health.

In addition, periodontal disease will also affect the wearing of dentures. Periodontal disease will damage periodontal tissue and leads to its recession, making the original dentures unsuitable and wobbly. At that time, suitable dentures need to be re-made.

Treatment of Periodontal Disease

Dentists will determine the severity of periodontal disease. Patients with mild periodontal disease only need to pay attention to oral hygiene. They can recover with correct teeth brushing, flossing and regular scaling to remove dental plaque and tartar.

Patients with severe periodontal disease need to undergo local anesthesia. Dentists will perform deep cleaning at the bottom of the inflamed gum with instruments and remove tartar and inflamed tissues on teeth surface and roots. However, deep cleaning also has its limitations. Patients need to understand that deep cleaning can only stabilize periodontal conditions, rather than reversing the situation and regenerating periodontal tissue. For patients with deep periodontal pockets or serious loss of periodontal tissue, periodontal surgeries such as "periodontal flap cleaning" or "periodontal regeneration" are required for treatment.

Prevention of Periodontal Disease

To avoid periodontal disease, brush your teeth every morning and evening in order to clean the teeth and the edges of the gum particularly. Use dental floss to clean the proximal surfaces of teeth to completely remove dental plaque. For those with denture bridges, special dental floss should be used to clean the areas under the bridges. Dentures should be removed for cleaning after getting up in the morning and before going to bed at night. When not being worn, dentures should be immersed in clean water to keep them clean. Visit the dentist regularly for check-ups and scaling to help clean difficult areas and remove tartar. Adopting such a two-pronged approach can help prevent periodontal disease before its happening.