Can Periodontal Disease Be Prevented?

After fifty, sixty, or even seventy years of good service, you may not be surprised that your teeth are showing signs of wear. The years of chewing and brushing, the gums and enamel take quite a beating. When you begin to notice other signs that your teeth and gums are in less than perfect health, such as periodontal disease, you may be tempted to blame it on aging or genetics.

In spite of this reasoning, you must remember that the body and the mouth are designed to last your entire lifetime. Like any other well designed machine, with proper maintenance and care, it can continue to function just like new for many decades.

If you have noticed that the gums are pulling away from the teeth (gum recession), try not to disregard the condition as “normal aging”. Instead consider it a form of periodontal disease that can be corrected with help from your periodontist. In fact, rather than wait for noticeable signs of gum disease, consulting your dental specialist regularly can be helpful in preventing the disease in the first place.

Receding gums, loose teeth, and bleeding gums are typically the result of periodontal disease. Uncontrolled plaque bacteria can cause inflammation, bone loss, and tarter accumulation that can push the gums away from the teeth. As the gum tissue recedes, the root of the tooth is exposed, leading to increased sensitivity, possible tooth decay, and eventual tooth loss.

Patients who suffer from chronic bruxism, a habit of clenching or gritting the teeth together, may also be affected by gum disease. The stress and the force imposed on the teeth during bruxism can weaken the hard and soft tissues that surround the teeth, often resulting in both bone loss and recession.

To that end, periodontal disease can be caused by factors other than bacterial accumulation.  Any aggressive forces to the teeth or gums can increase your risk for disease. Whether you brush your teeth forcefully or you have undergone rapid orthodontics, the damage to the periodontal tissues can become evident over time.

If you have noticed changes in the health or position of your gumline, seek treatment sooner rather than later. You may learn how to prevent further damage as well as options for correcting your current condition. Contact our Pittsburgh office at 412-391-3003 for more information and to schedule your professional consultation.