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.