Periodontal health is of huge importance, which is why Dr. Marshall makes it a point to constantly monitor the periodontal health of his patients in Fredericksburg, VA and provide them with the necessary treatment and preventive measures.
What is periodontal health?
Periodontal health is the overall health of an individual’s gums. The gums are a vital part of the mouth and appropriate care is needed to keep them healthy. When proper oral hygiene is not exercised, gum health can be compromised, causing periodontal disease.
What causes periodontal disease?
A periodontal disease, also known as gingivitis or gum disease starts from an inflammation of the gums due to bacterial growth in the mouth. If left untreated, this condition can develop into periodontitis. Periodontitis can further lead to destruction of gum tissues surrounding your teeth leading to possible tooth loss. Plaque can accumulate in the pockets created by the pulling of gum and bone away from teeth and can spread into farther areas below the gum line.
What are some health risks associated with periodontal disease?
The following health conditions may contribute to the occurrence of periodontal disease:
- Hormonal changes, especially in individuals who undergo puberty, pregnancy, monthly menstruation, and menopause
- Certain illnesses and health conditions such as cancer or HIV. Such diseases compromise the immune system, allowing gingivitis to affect one’s periodontal health. Diabetes is also one condition that increases a person’s risk for developing infections like gum diseases.
- Certain medications such as the anticonvulsant Dilantin and antianginal drugs like Adalat and Procardia. Such medications decrease saliva production as a side effect, reducing the protection of teeth and gums from periodontal diseases.
Scientists have also linked gum disease with heart disease, dementia, diabetes, premature birth, and rheumatoid arthritis. Although experts cannot say for sure, they believe that bacteria in the mouth can enter the bloodstream and harm the body’s major organs. This is why it is very important to maintain good periodontal health and treat gum disease immediately.
How can periodontal gum disease be prevented?
Periodontal gum disease can be prevented by having a good oral hygiene routine. When brushing, Dr. Marshall advises his patients to include the tongue as bacteria usually accumulate in the area. On the other hand, flossing can promote periodontal health as it helps remove plaque and food debris that are stuck between teeth and gums. Better yet, an annual comprehensive periodontal evaluation by Dr. Marshall can help monitor the condition of your gums and protect them from catching the disease.
How is periodontal gum disease treated?
Gum disease can be treated by getting to the root cause of the problem, which is the accumulated plaque in the patient’s teeth. Dr. Marshall cleans the affected areas, including the pockets of the tooth where harmful bacteria are usually gathered. Also known as scaling, this deep-cleaning process helps prevent further development of periodontal disease and promotes periodontal health. If the disease has already worsened, surgery could be the treatment of choice.