What is the Deal with Periodontal Disease?
At its most basic level, periodontal disease is caused by bacteria. The bacteria aggravate the gum tissue and cause inflammation. This process, when left unchecked, causes severe damage to the mouth. Gums recede, teeth become loose and can be lost, bad breath can be a concern, and the bacteria can travel, causing or aggravating diseases in other parts of the body. Clearly, preventing periodontal disease or intervening early in the disease process are vital to maintaining a healthy mouth and encouraging overall good health. Daily brushing, flossing, and regular dental care are the cornerstones of periodontal health.
Plaque and Perio
Periodontal disease begins with dental plaque. Plaque is the sticky substance that naturally builds up on teeth. Proper brushing and flossing techniques remove plaque, while inadequate technique allows plaque to build up on teeth and starts a chain reaction. Because plaque is stickier than enamel, it’s easier for plaque to stick to residual plaque and grow faster. Plaques can harden to tartar, which is sticker still.
The buildup can cause the gum to pull away from the tooth surface. The pocket between the tooth and the gum breeds more bacterial plaques, and regular brushing cannot reach and remove the resulting build-up. The speedy bacterial plaque growth can damage the structures that support the tooth, the periodontal ligament and the alveolar bone.
What is your risk?
Some risk factors for periodontal disease are clenching and grinding of teeth, anything that makes it harder to brush well, like misaligned teeth or braces, stress, poor health and nutrition, hormone fluctuations, and some medications.
The damage from clenching and grinding can be mitigated with proper dental care. Regular dental visits also can help prevent buildup around misaligned teeth or around braces. A lack of Vitamin C can cause severe gum problems. A healthy, balanced diet benefits oral health as much as overall health. It may not be possible to control hormone fluctuations, so additional care should be paid to the teeth and gums in times of known fluctuating hormones such as pregnancy and menopause.
The damage of dry mouth
Dry mouth is a common side effect from prescription medications. More than a mild discomfort or a simple nuisance, dry mouth accelerates gum disease development. Obviously, medications that are necessary for your overall health should not be discontinued. Products like CTx2 Spray can be used to moisturize a dry mouth, preserving oral health and mitigating the possible damage to the gums from medication-related dry mouth.