When we think of gum disease, we might automatically assume that it’s a rare condition that doesn’t affect many people. Unfortunately, the truth is that gum disease is quite common, affecting around 47% of Americans – and its symptoms, to begin with, can be rather subtle. Gum disease exists very much on a ‘sliding scale’, between the mild inflammation of the gums (gingivitis) and something much more serious, known as periodontitis.
What causes periodontitis
Our mouths are breeding grounds for bacteria. It’s in your saliva, the food you eat, and grows on your teeth if you don’t brush them. Periodontitis is actually a bacterial infection that starts when plaque is left for too long on the teeth, causing inflammation in and around the gums. It then begins to pull the gums back from the teeth, exposing the bone beneath.
Symptoms of periodontitis
Periodontitis is the advanced stage of gingivitis, which is the inflammation of the gums. As the problem becomes more serious, the gums may bleed when you brush your teeth, or when you eat. The gums may also be receding from the teeth, leaving a space in between. In serious cases, the teeth may be loose.
How to treat periodontitis
Treatment for periodontitis depends on how severe the case is. In milder cases, professional dental cleaning can remove all excess plaque and tartar from your teeth. Scaling and root planning remove plaque from beneath the gum line. In severe cases, surgical treatment may be required. The best way to treat periodontitis is to never get it in the first place – brushing twice a day and flossing once a day with Philips AirFloss is a great start.
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