Perio disease is quite common. If your hands bled when you cleaned them, you would be worried. Yet, many individuals think it’s typical if their gums bleed when they brush or floss. In a 1999 study, researchers at the United States National Institutes of Health (NIH) discovered that half of Americans over 30 had bleeding gums.
What Is Perio Disease
Swollen and bleeding gums are early signs that your gums are infected with bacteria. If nothing is done, the infection can spread. It can damage the structures that support your teeth in your jawbone. Ultimately, your teeth can end up being so loose that they need to be extracted.
“Peri” implies around, and “odontal” describes teeth. Gum diseases are infections of the structures around the teeth. These include the gums, the cementum that covers the root, the periodontal ligament and the alveolar bone. In the earliest stage of periodontal disease, gingivitis, the infection affects only the gums. In more severe types of the disease, all the supporting tissues are involved.
For many years scientists have actually been trying to find out what causes perio disease. It is now well accepted that bacteria in dental plaque are the significant villains. Scientists also are learning more about how an infection in your gums can impact your overall health.
Recently, gum disease has been linked to other illness. This is a new and interesting area of research. Many questions remain. Studies have produced varying responses about how much of a connection exists in between perio disease and other medical issues. More research is needed.
Scientists are studying possible connections in between perio disease and:
- Atherosclerosis and heart disease – Perio disease might increase the risk of clogged arteries and heart disease. It likewise is believed to aggravate existing heart disease.
- Stroke – Perio disease might increase the risk of the type of stroke that is caused by obstructed arteries.
- Premature births – A female who has perio disease during pregnancy may be most likely to provide her baby too early. The baby may be most likely to be of low birth weight.
- Diabetes – Diabetic patients with perio disease may have more trouble controlling their blood glucose than diabetic patients with healthy gums.
- Respiratory disease – Bacteria involved in perio disease might cause lung infections or aggravate existing lung conditions. This is especially essential for elderly adults in organizations such as nursing homes. In this group, bacteria from the mouth might reach the lungs and may cause severe pneumonia.
What Causes Perio Disease?
Periodontal disease is brought on by bacteria in dental plaque. Plaque is the sticky compound that forms on your teeth soon after you have brushed. In an effort to get rid of the bacteria, the cells of your immune system release compounds that inflame and harm the gums, periodontal ligament or alveolar bone. This results in swollen, bleeding gums, a sign of gingivitis (the earliest stage of perio disease). Damage from perio disease likewise can cause teeth to end up being loose. This suggests severe periodontitis (the advanced stage of disease).
You can prevent periodontal disease by practicing good oral health and visiting your dental expert routinely. Most people need to see the dental professional about once every 6 months. But if you already have perio disease you might need to check out regularly.
Daily brushing and flossing, when done properly, can help to remove most of the plaque from your teeth. Professional cleansings by your dental professional or dental hygienist will keep plaque under control in locations that are harder for a toothbrush or floss to reach.
If oral hygiene slips or you avoid dental visits, plaque builds up on the teeth. Ultimately, it spreads below the gum line. The bacteria are secured there because your tooth brush can’t reach them. If plaque is not eliminated, the bacteria will continue to increase. Your gum swelling might get worse.
The buildup of plaque listed below the gumline causes the gums to become swollen. As the gums swell, they separate from the tooth. This procedure forms a space, or “pocket,” between the tooth and gum. Bacteria can grow rapidly in the pockets. This motivates even more plaque accumulation.
If left untreated, periodontal disease may ruin the periodontal ligament and the alveolar bone, the structures that support your teeth.
Another reason to eliminate plaque without delay is that with time it ends up being solidified or calcified and turns into calculus. This is typically called tartar. Even more plaque attaches to calculus because it’s a rougher surface than tooth enamel. It’s also rougher than cementum, a layer that covers the tooth root. Calculus and plaque develop in layers.
Using a tartar-control toothpaste might assist slow the accumulation of calculus around your teeth. It cannot affect the tartar that currently has actually formed listed below the gum line, however.
How Is Perio Disease Prevented
The bacteria in plaque are the primary reason for perio disease. However several other factors likewise can contribute. They consist of other illness, medications and oral routines. These elements can increase your risk of perio disease or make it even worse once the infection has embeded in.
- Genes – Some individuals are more likely than others to get periodontal disease since of their genes. However your genes do not make perio disease inevitable. Even people who are extremely susceptible to periodontal disease can prevent or control the disease with excellent oral care.
- Smoking cigarettes and tobacco use – Cigarette smoking increases the risk of perio disease. The longer you smoke, and the more you smoke, the greater the risk. If you have periodontal disease, smoking cigarettes makes it more severe. Cigarette smoking is a major factor that some cases of perio disease are resistant to treatment. Smokers tend to collect more tartar on their teeth. They frequently develop much deeper periodontal pockets once they have perio disease. They likewise are likely to lose more bone as the disease becomes worse. Unlike many other aspects that impact the health of your gums, the decision to smoke or not is under your control. Quitting smoking can play a significant function in bringing periodontal disease under control.
- Crookeded or crowded teeth, braces or bridgework – Anything that makes it harder to brush or floss your teeth is likely to improve plaque and tartar formation. The more plaque and tartar you have, the higher your possibility of developing perio disease. Dental professionals and periodontists can reveal you the best methods to clean your teeth, even if they are tough to tidy. For example, you can use special tools and ways of threading floss to clean around bridgework or slide under braces. If overcrowded or crooked teeth are a problem, your dentist might recommend orthodontics. This could straighten out your smile and offer you a better possibility of preventing disease.
- Grinding, gritting or clenching of teeth – These routines will not cause periodontal disease. However, they can cause more severe disease if your gums are currently irritated. These habits exert excess force on the teeth. This pressure appears to speed up the breakdown of the gum ligament and bone. Oftentimes, people can learn how to stop this habit simply by recognizing when it is happening and after that relaxing. If these efforts don’t work, your dental expert or periodontist can develop a customized guard device to assist decrease the pressure of clenching or grinding on the teeth. This device is sometimes called an occlusal guard, night guard, mouth guard or bite guard.
- Stress – Stress can make perio disease even worse and more difficult to treat. Stress compromises your body’s immune system. This makes it harder for your body to eliminate off infection, consisting of periodontal disease.
- Changing hormonal agents – Whenever hormone levels go up and down in the body, modifications can take place in the mouth. Adolescence and pregnancy can temporarily increase the risk and severity of perio disease. So can menopause.
- Medicines – SSeveral types of medications can cause dry mouth, or xerostomia. Examples include specific drugs for depression and hypertension. If you do not have sufficient saliva, plaque is most likely to form. This may cause dental caries (cavities). Other medicines may cause the gums to increase the size of. This makes them most likely to trap plaque. These medications include:
- Phenytoin (Dilantin and other brand names), used to control seizures
- Cyclosporine (Neoral, Sandimmune), used to suppress the body immune system in people who have had organ transplants
- Nifedipine (Adalat, Cardizem and others) and other calcium channel blockers, used to treat hypertension, chest pain (angina) or heart arrhythmias.
- Diseases – People with specific diseases have a greater risk of establishing periodontal disease. For instance, people with diabetes are most likely to obtain periodontitis than people without diabetes. Their perio disease is also likely to be more severe. Other illness that increase perio disease risk consist of inflammatory conditions such as rheumatoid arthritis and HIV infection. Having one of these diseases can make the control of your periodontal disease harder. However an excellent periodontist or dental professional who understands these issues can offer you assistance on how to maintain your periodontal health.
- Poor nutrition – Nutrition is important for general health, consisting of a working body immune system and healthy gums and mouth. Severe vitamin C shortage (scurvy) can cause bleeding gums.