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Periodontal Disease: Causes, Signs, and Prevention

Last updated 6 years ago

White teeth are important, but they aren’t the secret to a healthy mouth. The buildup of plaque and tartar, which stains teeth, threatens to put your entire mouth at risk.


Periodontal disease is a result of poor dental habits and the acidic attack of accumulated plaque. This sticky film that forms on the inside of your mouth is a cocktail of bacteria and mucus. As these bacteria cause inflammation of the gums, the condition progresses to gingivitis. Swollen, bleeding gums are the most obvious signs of gingivitis. As this inflammation pulls gums away from the surface of the teeth, the patient has progressed to periodontal disease.


Bleeding gums and chronic bad breath are warning signs of gingivitis. Taking care of the problem before it progresses into periodontitis is key. The onset of periodontitis includes the breakdown of tissue between bone and gums due to bacterial toxins. As the roots of teeth are exposed, new cavities develop in places previously protected by gums. Plaque that builds up between the teeth and gums is very difficult to remove. Teeth sharing space with pockets of plaque become loose and usually results in having them removed by a dentist.


Proper dental hygiene can help prevent nearly all cases of periodontitis. It is also important to keep attending routine visits to a professional dentist. If a professional recognizes the signs of gingivitis, you may be able to steer clear of its progression. Risk factors that improve chances of developing periodontal disease include smoking, hormonal changes in female patients, diabetes, and certain medication.

Periodontal disease can have serious repercussions on your dental and general health. For more information on how to prevent and recognize the symptoms of periodontitis, call The Smile Design Center at (443) 275-9821. Visit our website to learn more about cosmetic dentistry, sedation dentistry, and how you can prevent or treat periodontal disease.


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All content and information available is for informational purposes only and not for the purpose of providing dental advice. You should contact your dentist to obtain advice with respect to any particular issue or problem. Use and access to this website or any of the links contained within this site does not create a dentist-client relationship.
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