Do I have periodontal disease?
- Do your gums bleed?
- Do you have a bad taste in your mouth?
- Are your gums red or swollen?
- Do any of your teeth feel loose?
- Do you currently suffer from diabetes, heart disease, rhuematoid arthritis, osteopenia or an unusual amount of stress?
- Do you brush and floss at least twice a day?
- Do you have numerous fillings, bridges, crowns in your mouth?
- Are your gums loose or move away from your teeth?
- Is there an area where your gums have receded (moved up or down) and make your teeth appear longer?
If you answered yes to any of the above questions, chances are you have some form of periodontal disease and need treatment. There is no cure for periodontal disease, it can only be maintained through proper and frequent supportive periodontal cleanings and proper home care. Once you have gum disease you will always have it, especially if one or more of the risk factors mentioned above are present and uncontrolled. Periodontal disease can be prevented provided none of the other risk factors are part of the equation with proper home care and consistent visits to your dentist or periodontist.
If you smoke or use tobacco
Recent studies are showing that tobacco use could be THE most significant risk factor to periodontal or gum disease.
Despite their oral regimen, some patients may be more susceptible to gum disease simply by virtue of their genetics. There are tests available now which your Oral Systemic dentist or periodontist can perform which can help determine if you are at risk for developing periodontal disease in your lifetime, and what you can do to treat it.
Stress is linked to many disease and periodontal disease is also on that list. Stress makes it more difficult for the body to fight infections and therefore increases the risk for developing inflammatory diseases, like periodontal disease.
Some of the oral contraceptives, anti-depressants, heart meds, and certain other drugs, can effect your oral health. Your periodontal & dentist should be informed of the drugs you are taking at all times. Some drugs like Statins will also contribute to deplete the body of certain minerals and vitamins and your Oral Systemic practices can help you evaluate those needs too.
If you suffer from any inflammatory diseases like heart disease, high blood pressure, diabetes, then you are at high risk for developing gum disease. These systemic disease when not controlled can contribute to the development of periodontal disease because they make it harder for your body to fight off infection and inflammation.
Restorative Dental Work
Fillings can leak & break, so can crowns and bridges. If you have numerous areas in your mouth that have had a lot of dental work, you could be at risk for periodontal disease. Those areas can be difficult to clean around and can be a harbor for bacteria to form. Without proper home care and dental visits, these bacteria multiply and cause periodontal disease to start.
How do I find an oral systemic dentist or periodontist?
Search using our Find an AAOSH Healthcare Professional tool.