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Periodontal Disease: What Is It, and How Can you Prevent It?

Taking proper care of your dental hygiene is more than just something your parents made you do growing up. It helps maintain your beautiful smile while reducing the chance of major health problems later on in life. Periodontal disease is one such condition excellent oral hygiene helps prevent. However, what is periodontal disease, what causes it and how can you prevent it? By answering these questions, you'll set yourself up for a life of healthy, beautiful teeth.

What is Periodontal Disease

Chances are, you've heard of gingivitis. It's a catchy keyword used whenever selling dental equipment through television spots. Periodontal disease is what happens when gingivitis is not corrected. The disease itself ranges from basic inflammation of the gums to far more serious oral disorders where the soft gum tissue begins to pull back, away from the teeth. This leaves the roots of your teeth exposed and open for the development of new disease. Additionally, exposed gums allows for bacteria to easily enter the blood system, which can cause other full-body health problems. 

What Causes Periodontal Disease?

Bacteria is an everyday occurrence in your mouth. The body naturally produces bacteria, along with the bacteria in food, so you almost always have a continual build up of it within your oral cavity. When mixed with mucus and other particles, it develops plaque on your teeth (especially around the gum line). Eventually, if this plaque is not removed from your mouth it hardens into a substance known as tartar. The hardened tartar is full of bacteria and doesn't clean off just with a brushing. This eventually leads to gingivitis, which slightly irritates the gums. If the problem remains unchecked, it develops into periodontal disease. Beyond poor dental hygiene, there are a handful of other causes behind periodontal disease. These include smoking, diabetes, hormonal changes, medication and even genetics. 

How Can You Prevent Periodontal Disease?

By staying on top of your dental hygiene, you'll greatly reduce your chance of developing the disease. Good hygiene includes brushing twice a day, flossing every day and seeing your dentist every six months. If you have been without a checkup for a while, or it is coming up on the six month window, now is the perfect time to schedule your next appointment. So feel free to contact Shoreline Dental Studio today!