Education is one of the best preventatives for periodontal disease. Many people assume that gum disease is hereditary or a simple fact of life, when they could be taking steps each day to prevent its occurrence. While aging does have an effect on the body in general, getting older is not a reason for gum disease. Even if it does occur, proper dental hygiene can halt it.
What Causes Periodontal Disease
The buildup of plaque is the primary cause of gum disease, and that is why it happens to seniors who often stop taking care of their teeth. In young people, periodontal disease is generally a combination of poor dental care and improper diet. Regular flossing and brushing are key preventative measures. Receding gums in older people contribute to periodontal disease, but they are not the cause. Contributors to the condition are dry mouth, certain medications, smoking, and dipping or chewing of tobacco products.
Indicators of Gum Disease
Because periodontal disease is slow to develop, it can be almost invisible until it becomes a serious issue. There may not be any signs of gum problems even when the disease has reached an advanced stage. Generally, redness of the gums is evidenced and this can be followed by bleeding gums. Bleeding those pockets around the base of the teeth will cause them to become loose and eventually fall out.
Evidence of blood while brushing or flossing teeth is an indication of gum disease. Some other signs are:
* Pus between teeth or at the gums
* Loose teeth
* Swollen, red, or tender gums
* Mouth sores
* Gums moving away from teeth
* Teeth fitting together differently when biting
* Change in the way partial dentures fit
Teeth Loss and Other Problems
Periodontal disease will not go away on its own. If you suddenly develop better dental care practices, it might help, but it won’t stop the disease. Oral infections can lead to health problems in other parts of the body when they are allowed to spread. Stroke and heart disease have been linked to disease of the gums.Gum disease poses a problem to those with respiratory diseases and hinders diabetics from controlling blood sugar levels. Prevention of periodontal disease involves continued dental care to include effective brushing and flossing. Regular dental care and routine cleanings to remove plaque both visible and below the gum line are a necessity to control, prevent, and stop disease of the gums.