A recent report provided by the Centers for Disease Control (CDC) showed that over 47% of Americans over the age of 30 have some form of periodontal disease. This statistic is alarming enough, but the study also shows that things aren’t improving as people age, with over 70% of adults over the age of 65 having the disease. With numbers like this, it’s hard to ignore the idea that dental care needs to become more of a priority in our daily lives.
Left untreated, periodontal disease can lead to severe infection, tooth decay, and ultimately, tooth loss. Thankfully, you aren’t on your own – San Francisco dentist Dr. Antigone Skoulas is your partner in forming a ready defense against periodontitis and its effects.
Periodontitis isn’t something that just happens overnight. It’s an advanced stage of gum disease, preceded by gingivitis, and carries with it a number of warning signs. Be on the lookout for:
- Red, swollen, tender, or bleeding gums
- Painful chewing
- Loose teeth or sensitive teeth
- Bad breath or bad taste that won’t go away
- Gums that have pulled away from your teeth
- Changes in the way your teeth fit together when you bite
- Any change in the fit of partial dentures
Causes, Prevention, and Treatment
Periodontitis is caused when bacterial buildup on the teeth infects gum tissue. Proper oral hygiene is key to prevention, but brushing and flossing alone isn’t enough. Regular dental cleanings (Dr. Skoulas recommends every 6 months) can remove plaque and tartar more effectively and prevent progression of the disease. Aside from this, there are a number of risk factors that can contribute to your likelihood of developing this disease including:
- Crooked teeth
- Taking medications that cause dry mouth
- Defective fillings and ill-fitting bridges
- Female hormonal changes, such as with pregnancy or the use of oral contraceptives
- Diabetes and auto-immune conditions (AIDS, etc.)
Once you develop periodontitis, only a professional can prevent its progression and treat it properly. Depending on the stage of the disease when you get treatment, scaling and root planing, and deep cleaning solutions such as Arestin and Perio Protect can be employed to remove the infection and prevent further damage to your teeth. The sooner you get treatment, the better, so if you have warning signs of periodontitis, don’t delay – contact us today for an appointment.
Do you have a ready defense against gum disease? Regular cleanings by San Francisco dentist Dr. Antigone Skoulas protect against periodontitis and its effects. Contact us to schedule your appointment today.