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Causes and symptoms of periodontal disease


Periodontitis is an infection affecting the tooth bed. It connects the tooth to the jaw and consists (among other things) of connective tissue, gums and bone. The cause of periodontitis, which is also known as periodontal disease, is bacteria located in the oral cavity.

These bacteria settle on dental plaque, which is made up of food residues and saliva components. The bacteria multiply and excrete aggressive metabolism products - specifically acid and toxins. This can trigger an inflammation of the gums (gingivitis). Gingivitis goes hand in hand with periodontal disease and is mostly painless. However, symptoms such as a gum discoloration and bleeding gums can indicate gingivitis. Dentists speak of periodontal disease if the inflammation of the gums has penetrated to the tooth bed.

If left untreated, periodontitis can lead to tooth loss and the possible need for a dental implant (for information about dental implants in Santa Rosa CA contact Hammer and Bonin dentistry). Periodontal disease is the main cause of tooth loss in adults. More than 80% of adults over 35 years old suffer from some form of dental disease. In addition, diverse interactions exist between periodontal disease and other general diseases. You must be clear about it: with periodontal disease not only are the gums ill, but the whole patient has effects from this disease. 

Therefore it must be the objective to prevent and detect periodontal disease in a very early form and handle it before it can harm the individual.

What causes periodontitis?


As with gingivitis, periodontitis is triggered by bacterial plaque. This plaque is a tough adhesive film of bacteria (biofilm) on the tooth surfaces. From the many hundred species of bacteria, a handful of bacteria types are most frequently found in periodontal disease.

As with gingivitis, bacterial metabolism and decay products are released from the biofilm, which trigger defensive reactions of the body. Through mechanisms that are not yet fully understood, there is the transition from gingivitis to periodontal disease in the course of the progression.

Your own immune system, which attempts to eliminate the bacteria, plays a leading role in the destruction of the tissue itself. This immune response consists of a diverse sequence of reactions and actions with many various inflammatory substances and cells involved. Among other things, enzymes are formed, which will destroy the bacteria, but also cause a destruction of collagen. This ultimately leads to the loss of connective tissue and bone.

Periodontal disease is usually painless. Therefore, it is often not noticed even by the patient.

The following signs may indicate a disease of the tooth bed:

1) Bleeding gums during brushing

2) Red, swollen or sensitive gums

3) Gums, which have withdrawn from the teeth

4) Bad breath

5) Secretion - or pus draining from gum pockets

6) Loose teeth

7) Clenching teeth

8) Changes in the fit of partial dentures

Although the immune system plays a main role in the development of periodontitis, there are some risk factors affecting periodontal health. These include above all a poor oral hygiene and genetic factors that determine the inflammatory response to the bacterial stimulus. According to recent studies, 30% of the population for periodontal diseases seems to be genetically susceptible.

A very important risk factor is smoking, which increases risk of a dental disease, by a factor of 2-7. Diabetes especially if the blood sugar level is not set correctly can be a state more likely to attract periodontal disease. Also stress, unbalanced nutrition and immune disorders are factors. Come in for a complete dental exam today and make sure you avoid periodontal disease. Learn about Hammer and Bonin dentistry, click here.

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