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Periodontitis - is caused by a bacterial infection in the tooth socket. The first sign is bleeding gums when you brush your teeth. Brush extra carefully with a soft toothbrush and floss. The earlier the inflammation is detected and treated, the better prognosis.
The bacteria are normally found in the mouth and cause problems if you are careless with oral hygiene. When you do not brush your teeth well the gum line loosens and bacteria grows more easily. In the deep pocket between the gum and the tooth, the bacteria penetrate further and destroy the bone.
Eventually, the tooth's root and the jawbone to which the tooth is attached are damaged. The tooth becomes more and more mobile and eventually you lose it. The disease is slow and it can take decades for the tooth to come loose completely. To reduce the risk of infection/inflammation, brushing about twice a day is enough.
Susceptibility to the disease is partly hereditary.
Symptoms of periodontitis
The first sign is bleeding gums when you brush your teeth. The gums swell up and become shiny, sore and red. You have gingivitis. The inflammation is caused by your failure to keep your teeth clean of bacterial plaque. Healthy gums do not bleed. Healthy gums are pale pink, knotty and keep tight to the tooth.
You can get rid of the inflammation by flossing and brushing several times a day for few weeks. If you do nothing, the inflammation will continue deeper down. You won't have any more discomfort beyond the soreness and bleeding in your gums until the inflammation has progressed to the point where your tooth starts to move.
Diabetes may increase the risk of parodontitis.
Certain diseases, such as diabetes, can increase the risk of parodontitis.
When you're pregnant, your gums can also be extra sensitive to inflammation due to hormonal changes. However, periodontal disease is rare. Take extra care with your dental hygiene during pregnancy to prevent gingivitis, tooth decay and possible periodontitis.
Peridontitis is common among smokers.
More than half of people with tooth loss are smokers. This is because smoking weakens the immune system.
Smokers don't get the first warning sign of bleeding gums: because smoking causes your blood vessels to constrict so that your gums look healthy despite the inflamation.
There is no direct link with parodontitis and using snuff. Instead, you may experience local damage to the mucous membrane where the snuff is placed.
How to best protect yourself against periodontitis
- Brush your teeth thoroughly twice a day.
- Also clean every day with floss, a toothpick or a small brush between your teeth and in your gum pockets.
- See a dentist or dental hygienist at least every two years to have your teeth examined and tartar removed.
It hurts to floss when you have gingivitis. It may also bleed more during the treatment itself, but you have to follow up and end the treatment The pain is like exercise pain, when your gums are in better condition it doesn't hurt anymore. With this treatment, the inflammation usually goes away in a few weeks.
If you develop parodontitis, it is very important that you clean your teeth thoroughly between treatments. Spend at least ten minutes a day on your teeth. Continue even when you are healthy again. Be aware that the disease can return if you are careless with your oral hygiene.