Most people have a standard routine when it comes to their oral hygiene practices. They brush their teeth and floss at least twice daily. However, breaking that pattern for long periods of time can lead to serious issues.

One such oral health epidemic, Periodontal Disease, affects half of all Americans ages 30-plus, according to the Center for Disease Control and Prevention.

“It’s definitely a major challenge that we see quite a bit,” said Dr. Matthew Parr, D.D.S, owner of Surf City Dental. “Still, it can be avoided in many patients. It starts by knowing the basics…proper brushing and flossing habits, regular dental visits a couple times a year, and working with your oral healthcare team to continually monitor your mouth’s total wellness.”

What is Periodontal Disease?
Periodontal Disease is an infection of the structures – gums, periodontal ligament, and alveolar bone – that surround the teeth. Periodontal Disease is caused by bacteria located in dental plaque, the sticky film that forms in your mouth several hours after brushing. The disease is relatively common, with studies showing that approximately half of Americans over the age of thirty suffered from bleeding gums, one of the more common symptoms seen. Pain and inflammation can also be associated with the disease. The symptoms that come with Periodontal Disease are only the tip of the iceberg and not treating it may lead to further health issues.

Other Causes of Periodontal Disease

  1. Smoking and Tobacco Use – Smoking and tobacco use never yield good results in relation to your mouth. Smoking is the leading cause of Periodontal Disease as smokers collect more tartar on their teeth over time. Tobacco use also makes it harder to treat disease in the mouth by creating deeper pockets than normal within the gums once Periodontal Disease is found.
  2. Genetics – Studies show that around 30% of people are susceptible to Periodontal Disease based off their genetic history. This by no means is a pre-ordained condition and can still be regulated effectively with correct dental practices.
  3. Various Obstacles in the Mouth – No, not cones or potholes, but those are good analogies in this case. People that have either a misaligned mouth or braces can suffer from the disease simply because those issues can either block your teeth and gums or hide problem areas which hurt your chances for optimal brushing and flossing results.
  4. Stress – Your body’s immune system does not react well to stress and can cause a long list of issues including Periodontal Disease. If problems occur and your body is worn down or at risk, those problems can escalate without proper treatment.

Health Issues Related to Periodontal Disease

  1. Periodontitis – The result of Periodontal Disease if untreated, which could cause structural damage in your mouth and lead to pockets and/or spaces between your teeth and gums
  2. Heart Disease – Signs of poor oral hygiene have pointed to a correlation in an increase of heart disease and may increase the risk of clogged arteries and heart attack.
  3. Diabetes – A person with both diabetes and Periodontal Disease may have a harder time controlling their blood sugar
  4. Respiratory Disease – Gum disease could affect your respiratory system and increase the risk of lung conditions

Treatment and Prevention
There are several proactive steps to take towards the prevention of this and other conditions that cause pain and discomfort in your mouth.

Brush and Floss Teeth Regularly: This is the easiest step you can take towards ensuring good oral health. Make sure you brush and floss at least two times a day to decrease your odds of any plaque and bacteria buildup.

Regular Visits to Surf City Dental: Visiting our dental team on a regular basis will help keep your teeth and gums healthy. It’s also the perfect way to check that all of your at-home preventative care is being done correctly. We’re here to monitor your mouth’s health beyond surface-level observations, making sure nothing goes unchecked.

If you have any concerns about Periodontal Disease or simply want to map out proactive steps to avoid it, visit our team here at Surf City Dental for a one-on-one consult!