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Periodontitis by Brittany Blumer

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Periodontitis is the most severe form of gum disease. It occurs when the gums surrounding the teeth start to pull away from the teeth and create small spaces between them. The spaces that are created can then fill with plaque-forming bacteria that will result in infection. Once the teeth become infected the body’s immune system will respond by breaking down the surrounding connective tissue and bone that are holding the teeth in place. As the tissue and bone start to break down the teeth will become weak and loose and can result in tooth loss if not treated by a professional.

There are many important signs of periodontitis. One of the most obvious signs is red, swollen gums that are extremely sensitive and will bleed very easily. Another less obvious but just as concerning sign is having teeth that have shifted and fit together differently when closing the mouth. One of the most common symptoms is a foul odor that is hard to get rid of just by simply brushing. Periodontitis causes the teeth to be so sensitive that it can be painful to eat or chew gum. This extreme form of gum disease has much more obvious and painful signs than other forms of gum disease. The only way to surely know if you have periodontitis is to visit a dentist and let them examine and x-ray your teeth for bone loss.

Periodontitis can easily be prevented by anyone. The most important way to avoid periodontitis is to maintain good oral hygiene by brushing and flossing daily. Another great way to avoid this form of gum disease is the use of mouthwash because it can kill bacteria that live between teeth and can help reduce the buildup of plaque along the gum line. Abstaining from the use of tobacco will greatly reduce the risk of developing any gum disease. A healthy body results in healthier teeth so eating foods that are good for your body will also help keep your teeth in better condition. Regular dental checkups and cleanings are the best way to avoid any plaque buildup that would result in tooth loss due to periodontitis.

Once teeth have reached the level of severity that results in periodontitis they must be treated by a professional. The dentist or hygienist will do their best to reduce the inflammation at the gum line and help restore healthy teeth and gums. To do this they will thoroughly clean the teeth by brushing, flossing, and using other necessary tools to remove the built-up plaque that has formed along the gum line. After the teeth have been thoroughly cleaned they will suggest ideas on how to maintain healthy teeth and will show you how to properly brush and floss to avoid the return of periodontitis.  It is important to take their advice and follow their instructions to avoid the return of this painful gum disease so that you can maintain a healthy, beautiful smile.



Mayo Clinic – http://www.mayoclinic.com/health/periodontitis/DS00369

NIDCR – http://www.nidcr.nih.gov/OralHealth/Topics/GumDiseases/PeriodontalGumDisease.htm

Web MD – http://www.webmd.com/oral-health/guide/gingivitis-periodontal-disease

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PubMed Health – http://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pubmedhealth/PMH0002054/



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