Why You Should Do Everything to Avoid Periodontal Disease

Protect Your Health: The Crucial Fight Against Periodontal Disease at Spokane Valley Dentistry

Periodontal disease, more commonly known as gum disease, is a silent adversary affecting millions of individuals, often without them realizing it until it has advanced. This condition is not just a threat to your oral health but has been linked to several systemic health issues. At Spokane Valley Dentistry, Dr. Josh Conway and our dedicated team are at the forefront of the battle against periodontal disease, emphasizing the importance of prevention, early detection, and effective treatment.

What Causes Gum Disease? 

Periodontal disease begins with the buildup of plaque, a sticky film of bacteria that forms on your teeth. If not adequately removed, plaque can harden into tartar, leading to the initial stage of gum disease, gingivitis, characterized by red, swollen, and bleeding gums. Without intervention, gingivitis can progress to periodontitis, where the gums pull away from the teeth, forming pockets that become infected, ultimately leading to bone and tooth loss.

Why You Should Do Everything to Avoid Periodontal Disease

Gum disease is far more than just a dental health issue; it's a condition that can significantly impact both your oral health AND your overall well-being. Understanding the extensive implications of this disease underscores the importance of prevention, early intervention, and why you should do everything you can to avoid periodontal disease!

Oral Health Implications:

  • Tooth Loss and Bone Deterioration: The most direct impact of advanced periodontal disease is the loss of teeth and the deterioration of the jawbone. The bacteria that cause periodontal disease can destroy the supporting bone structure, leading to loose teeth and, eventually, tooth loss. This not only affects your ability to chew and speak but can also lead to significant changes in facial structure, impacting your appearance and self-esteem.
  • Receding Gums: Periodontal disease can cause the gums to pull away or recede from the teeth. This not only leads to the appearance of longer teeth but also exposes the roots of the teeth, making them more susceptible to decay and sensitive to hot and cold.

Systemic Health Risks:

  • Heart Disease and Stroke: Research has shown a link between periodontal disease and an increased risk of heart disease. The inflammation caused by periodontal disease may be partly responsible for this association. Additionally, the bacteria from infected gums can enter the bloodstream, potentially leading to the formation of arterial plaques and an increased risk of stroke.

  • Diabetes: For individuals with diabetes, periodontal disease can complicate blood sugar control. Conversely, those with periodontal disease may have a harder time controlling their diabetes. The inflammation associated with periodontal disease can increase insulin resistance and worsen blood sugar levels, creating a vicious cycle between diabetes and periodontal disease.

  • Respiratory Diseases: Bacteria from the mouth, particularly from infected gums, can be inhaled or aspirated into the lungs, leading to respiratory diseases such as pneumonia. This is especially concerning for individuals with existing respiratory conditions.

  • Pregnancy Complications: Periodontal disease has been linked to premature birth and low birth weight. The theory is that oral bacteria release toxins that reach the placenta through the mother's bloodstream, potentially harming the developing baby. Additionally, the inflammation from periodontal disease may trigger responses that induce early labor.

Given these significant oral and systemic health implications, it's clear why preventing and managing periodontal disease is crucial. Not only does it safeguard your oral health, preserving your teeth and gums, but it also plays a critical role in maintaining your overall health and preventing more serious conditions.

The Prevention and Early Detection of Periodontal Disease

The key to combating periodontal disease and saving you from oral and systemic health risks lies in the prevention and early detection. Regular dental check-ups and cleanings at Spokane Valley Dentistry are crucial for removing plaque and tartar that daily brushing and flossing might miss. Dr. Conway and our team also provide comprehensive exams to catch early signs of gum disease, ensuring prompt and effective treatment to halt its progression.

For those already facing periodontal disease, Spokane Valley Dentistry offers advanced treatment options tailored to each patient’s needs. From deep cleaning procedures, such as scaling and root planing, to more advanced surgical interventions, our goal is to restore your gum health and prevent further damage.

  • Scaling and Root Planing: A deep-cleaning process that removes tartar from above and below the gum line and smooths rough spots on tooth roots where bacteria gather.
  • Surgical Treatments: For advanced cases, surgical treatments may be necessary to reduce pocket depth and restore damaged bone and gum tissue.

Patient at home should also consider adding these tips to their daily routines:

  • Effective Brushing and Flossing: Regular brushing twice a day and flossing once daily are fundamental in removing plaque.
  • Lifestyle Choices: A balanced diet and avoiding tobacco products can significantly reduce the risk of periodontal disease.

Take Action Today for a Healthier Tomorrow

Periodontal disease is a preventable and treatable condition when caught early. Taking proactive steps towards maintaining good oral hygiene and scheduling regular dental visits are your best defense against this silent health threat. If you’re concerned about gum disease or it’s been a while since your last dental check-up, don’t wait.

Contact Spokane Valley Dentistry at (509) 253-1241 to schedule your appointment with Dr. Josh Conway. Together, we can fight against periodontal disease and protect not just your smile, but your overall health.

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