Periodontal disease has been getting a lot of attention lately, and with good reason. Researchers have recently discovered a connection between your periodontal health and the health of the rest of your body. This connection has been dubbed “The Oral-Systemic Link.”

Scientists now know that periodontal disease is associated with serious systemic health conditions like diabetes, heart disease, stroke, and respiratory disease. They’ve also learned that pregnant women who have periodontal disease are at a higher risk of delivering a baby with a low birth weight.

As you can imagine, at Bond Family & Implant dentistry, we take periodontal disease very seriously. We focus on taking preventive steps whenever possible, and if you do have periodontal disease, practicing assertive treatment to stop the progression of the disease in its tracks. We value your health and will help you get this chronic infection of the gums and bone under control.

What Are the Signs of Periodontal Disease?

Do you have periodontal disease? According the CDC, half of all adults in the United States do. Periodontal disease starts out mild, with few symptoms, and if left untreated, progresses to the point where you may lose your teeth.

The early stages of periodontal disease, called gingivitis, may present with these symptoms:

  • Tender, puffy gums
  • Gums that bleed when brushed
  • Gums that appear redder than usual
  • A bad taste in the mouth
  • A change in the way the teeth fit together
  • Bad breath

When we’re talking about bad breath, we aren’t referring to the transient bad breath that occurs when you eat onions, garlic, and other pungent foods. This is a bad smell that persists, and it’s the result of the bacteria that cause periodontal disease.

Without treatment, you can expect your gums to recede and pockets to form around your teeth. Bacteria will infect the pockets, and you may experience tooth sensitivity. At this point, the bacteria will begin doing serious damage to the gum tissue and the bone, and this damage can only be reversed with surgery. At this stage, the disease is known as periodontitis.

Treating Periodontal Disease

Ideally, we’d like to prevent gum disease from ever starting. This means sticking to a good brushing and flossing routine with proper technique and visiting our Longmont dental office regularly for professional cleanings. Different factors affect your risk of developing gum disease, and these can include:

  • Genetics
  • Hormonal changes
  • Certain medications
  • Health conditions

If we start to see signs of periodontal disease, we may prescribe antimicrobial products such as toothpastes and rinses. We may also recommend a deep cleaning treatment that allows us to get rid of bacteria beneath the gumline and smooth out the roots of your teeth to prevent reinfection. We may also use an antibiotic treatment to help with this.

In more advanced cases, we can discuss your options, which may include surgery or tissue grafting.

At Bond Family & Implant Dentistry, we have a great team that includes skilled and experienced hygienists who provide thorough-yet-gentle cleanings. Call today to schedule your appointment – even if it’s been awhile. We’ll never judge you or shame you; we just want to work with you where you’re at to help you get back on track and improve your health.