Periodontitis is a disease of the gums that affects both young and old adults. Even though this oral disease is more prevalent in older adults, 47.2% of people over 30 are affected by it. Furthermore, it may be silent or painless, which means that you may not be aware of it right away.
The good news is that periodontal disease can be prevented and treated. Are you interested in learning more about this common oral health issue and what you can do to prevent it? Keep reading to learn more!
What causes periodontal disease?
Periodontitis, or gum disease, is often caused by poor oral hygiene. In fact, the mouth is home to the second-most diverse microbial community in the body. It contains, at the very least, 700 different species of bacteria. Plaque is the result of many of these microorganisms.
Plaque is a clear, sticky substance that constantly forms on the teeth. After meals, oral bacteria are even more active in creating plaque. The reason for this is that they feed on leftovers as well as sugar and starches.
All of these factors emphasize the importance of brushing and flossing after each meal. There are, however, some individuals who are more susceptible to, or are at a higher risk of developing, periodontitis.
What role does age play in periodontal disease?
Periodontitis is more common among older adults, affecting 70% of those over 65. Consequently, seniors are more likely to suffer from tooth loss.
Scientists believe that gums break down faster with age. Aged gums also appear to be more prone to inflammation. Furthermore, aging slows the body’s ability to heal wounds, such as those in the gums.
Aside from older people, who is most likely to suffer from periodontitis?
Besides poor oral hygiene, smoking tobacco also increases the risk of periodontitis. According to research, women between the ages of 20 and 39 who smoke are twice as likely to develop periodontal disease. There are 15.6% of smokers in the general population who suffer from gum disease, as opposed to 4.9% of non-smokers. As a result, smoking is the leading modifiable risk factor for gum diseases.
Genes may also play a role in periodontitis. Researchers found that dozens of genes contribute to gum disease risk. Stress and poor eating habits can also raise the risk of periodontitis.
Can periodontal disease be cured?
The answer is yes! However, early detection and treatment are of utmost importance here. Periodontitis is most reversible in its early stages. Those with gene-related risk factors are affected. For this reason, dental professionals want to know their patients’ medical and family histories.
This knowledge allows dentists to monitor at-risk patients actively. As a result, early intervention and prevention can be implemented.
What are the treatment options for periodontitis?
Early detection of periodontitis increases the chances of reversibility. Surgical treatment may not even be necessary if your dentist catches it early. If this is the case, your oral healthcare provider may only need to perform scaling and root planing.
Modern ultrasonic scalers allow for a more thorough cleaning of the teeth and gums. In turn, this removes a greater amount of plaque than regular brushing and flossing. As long as you maintain good oral hygiene at home, your gums will be able to recover and heal. Additionally, the cleaner your pearly whites are, the less likely you are to experience a recurrence of gum disease.
Keeping your mouth healthy will reduce your chances of developing periodontitis.
Even younger people can develop periodontitis, although it is more common in older adults. If your gums bleed, you shouldn’t panic, but you should be concerned.
If you notice any signs of periodontal disease, consult your dentist right away. By doing this, your dentist has a better chance of reversing the damage. For more information or to schedule an appointment, please contact our periodontal office.