Periodontitis is a disease not many people are aware of, even though they have it. For most people, it comes off as a simple toothache that comes and goes. However, this disease can quickly eliminate all the teeth you have and leave you reeling in pain if left untreated. The worse part of it all is that it can lead to much more severe diseases like oral cancer.
It’s estimated that more than 40% of American adults have periodontitis. Although most of these people experience minor symptoms, a decent number are experiencing a severe form of periodontitis. So what is periodontitis?
Periodontitis is a form of gum disease, but it can also affect your teeth and general dental health. In addition, it’s a disease that worsens with age. It’s estimated that 70% of those aged 65 and older have this disease, although it can start as early as twenty-five years old.
The symptoms of periodontitis can differ, depending on the patient. However, the most common symptoms are bleeding and swollen gums, pain when chewing, loose teeth, sensitive teeth, and bad breath. The pain from such a disease depends on the time you’ve had the disease. Some people who had periodontitis for a long time expressed that the pain can be truly unbearable.
Such a disease can also lead to the extraction of teeth at a given time. You could easily lose all your teeth if this disease is left untreated for many years.
Causes of Periodontitis
There are many reasons people develop such a disease. As stated earlier, people who are 65 years and older are more likely to have the disease. So age plays a big factor in gaining such a disease. Another factor is smoking and diabetes.
People who smoke are very likely to damage their gums and their teeth. Such a vice can also lead to oral cancer. Diabetes has also been known to cause periodontitis. This is because people with diabetes have higher blood sugar which can affect their mouth fluids. This can lead to infections and eventually periodontal disease.
There are many more reasons why people gain periodontitis, such as hereditary issues and immunodeficiency. But those are the most common issues above.
Periodontitis is quite common, especially in the early stages of such disease, but it is highly preventable. Experts believe that the first step into preventing such a disease is by developing good oral hygiene. You can start by brushing and flossing every day.
Brushing and Flossing
Brushing and flossing are still the two most important things you should be doing if you want to avoid periodontitis or any oral disease, for that matter. The simple act of brushing can keep your teeth clean and your gums healthy. It lessens the chance of infection and also makes it easier for you to sleep at night. However, don’t brush too hard or too often, as it can do more harm than good.
On the other hand, flossing can remove any solid materials that might stick between your teeth. If these materials are left for long periods, it can cause bad breath, and an infection can occur. So make sure you floss at least once a day to ensure that you keep the small gaps between your teeth clean as possible.
One of the regulating enzymes in our mouth is our saliva. Saliva has been known to bring good bacteria to our mouths and regulate it. It’s also known to ensure that our gums are safe from any bacterial infection and can even speed up the healing process of any cuts.
If you have been experiencing a dry mouth for quite some time, make sure you drink plenty of water. You can also chew on sugar-free gum to stimulate saliva production. Your saliva is one of the most natural cures for periodontitis, so make sure you do these things.
Exposed gums can do more harm than good. This is why many dentists suggest old people either get dentures or tooth implants. Covering exposed gums with dentures or implants drastically decreases the chance of cuts and infections. This is good if you’re trying to prevent periodontitis at an old age. But it’s also a good way to prevent it while you’re young. If you had multiple teeth extracted, make sure to cover your gums with these options.
Periodontitis is a very preventable disease. By following these precautions, you can easily avoid them in your lifetime. Make sure to visit your dentist today so that they can determine whether you have periodontitis.