By visiting a
dentist serving Lexington at least twice a year for a dental checkup and professional cleaning,
you can greatly reduce the risk of suffering from periodontal disease.
Periodontal disease, or gum disease, often occurs from improper oral hygiene
that results in the buildup of plaque and tartar. If you notice any changes
with your oral hygiene, such as bad breath or a receding gum line, visit
a dentist right away. Your dentist may diagnose you with one of the following
types of periodontal disease.
Gingivitis is a common condition seen in general dentistry practices. It
is the first stage of periodontal disease. If your dentist detects periodontal
disease in this stage, it is easily treated with deep cleaning and improvements
in at-home oral care. Gingivitis occurs when plaque and tartar buildup
causes the gums to become inflamed and swollen. They may appear redder
than usual and they are likely to bleed easily. While poor oral care routines
are most often the cause of gingivitis, other factors may contribute to
it. These can include smoking, poor nutrition, and substance abuse, in
addition to medical conditions such as diabetes.
Unless gingivitis is detected and treated, gum disease can advance to the
next stage, which is known as periodontitis. Periodontitis is characterized by the
worsening spread of plaque and tartar. The bacteria in the plaque give off toxins, which cause irritation to
the sensitive gums. In turn, the body has an inflammatory response that
causes the jawbone and tissues in the mouth to break down. Dentists detect
periodontitis by evaluating a patient's mouth for signs of gum recession
and assessing the bone density of the jawbone. As the supportive structures
of the mouth deteriorate, the teeth become loose and they can eventually
fall out or require removal.
Necrotizing Periodontal Disease
Dental patients with HIV infection, poor nutrition, or immunosuppression
are prone to a type of periodontitis called necrotizing periodontal disease.
This infection involves the death of gingival tissues, supporting bone
structures, and periodontal ligament. The end result may be tooth loss.
The severity of any type of periodontal disease highlights the need for
regular dental visits.