Q&A on Periodontal Disease

Do your gums ever bleed? Do you have swollen gums or are they sensitive to the touch? Many people don’t realize that these are common signs of periodontal disease. When plaque and tarter build up on your gums, the build up can cause them to inflame. When you scrub them with your toothbrush it can cause the sensitive gums to bleed.

Periodontal disease can lead to many health issues including gum inflammation and in more severe circumstances, critical damage to the gums and bone that support the teeth.

According to a report commissioned by the Center for Disease Control, “Prevalance of Periodontitis in Adults in the United States: 2009 and 2010,” an estimated 64.7 million American adults, 47.2 percent, have a mild, moderate, or severe case of periodontal disease. Severe symptoms of periodontal disease can include swelling or bleeding.

The condition can often go unnoticed, which is why it is important to visit your dentist at least twice a year.

Q: How common is periodontal disease, and what is it?

A: Periodontal disease is oral health issue that is a chronic inflammatory disease. It affects the gum tissue in your mouth and it can also hurt the bones supporting your teeth. If it is left untreated, it can lead to tooth loss.
Q: Are there common risk factors for periodontal disease?

A: The main cause of periodontal disease is linked to plaque. Other factors include: lifestyle habits such as smoking, genetics, stress, medications, age, clenching or grinding your teeth, cardiovascular disease and rheumatoid arthritis.


Q: What is the most common symptom linked to periodontal disease?

A: Gum disease is a silent disease, which means that the symptoms may not appear until an advanced stage of the disease is present. But there are warning signs of gum disease which include the following:
• Red, tender or swollen gums or other pain in your mouth.
• Bleeding gums while brushing or flossing, or even eating hard food.
• Gums that are receding away from the teeth, which can causing the teeth to appear longer than before.
• Loose teeth.
• Pus between in your mouth between your gums and teeth.
• Chronic bad breath.

Q: What health risks are associated with periodontal disease?

A: Periodontal disease is associated with many other diseases. Such as diabetes, heart disease, and even premature and low birth weight in babies. Treating inflammation not only helps to manage periodontal disease but in many cases, it also helps with the management of other chronic inflammatory conditions.


Q: What happens if periodontal disease goes untreated?

A: If periodontal disease is not properly diagnosed or treated, an individual will lose bone by the teeth over time. This will lead to tooth loss.


Q: What are treatment options for periodontal disease?

A: There are a lot of new and less invasive options to treat periodontal disease.
Not all situations will require surgery. However, when there is severe bone loss, surgery may become the best option to retain the teeth. Without treatment of the disease, the teeth will inevitably be lost.


Q: Once treated, what’s the best way to assure that your gums stay healthy?
A: We recommend brushing twice a day and flossing, but the next important step is to have a regular checkups and cleanings. Patients who have moderate to severe periodontal disease have been shown to remain stable with up to four cleanings a year.

Dr. Lee at Klamath Falls Dental Specialists focuses on treating periodontal disease. Regardless of the cause of periodontal disease, it’s essential to seek treatment as soon possible to remove existing bacteria and regenerate supporting structures of gum tissue and bone. Dr. Lee and her compassionate staff at Klamath Falls Dental Specialists provide a variety of treatment options for those dealing with periodontal disease.

Make an appointment today.