Periodontitis is a disease of the gums that occurs when gingivitis
goes untreated. This is a painful disease that is the leading cause of both tooth decay and tooth loss in adults. Periodontitis can be easily prevented with daily tooth care including flossing and brushing combined with twice a year dental exams and cleanings. Here are a few little-known facts about the disease:
1. Spread from Mother to Fetus -
Most OB doctors recommend regular dental exams and cleanings early in pregnancy because the mother can spread disease like periodontitis to their unborn child. Finding the disease early while pregnant will allow the dentist to get the disease treated without spreading it to the unborn child. If periodontitis is not caught early during pregnancy, it can cause various complications late in pregnancy and even during labor.2. Common Cause of Bad Breath -
Many people think that the cause of bad breath is simply not brushing your teeth or eating "stinky" foods. While this is the case with many causes, one of the leading causes of bad breath is periodontitis. If you have not had any stinky foods and cannot seem to get rid of your bad breath, even after brushing, maybe it is time to see the dentist.3. Silent Disease -
While there are many signs and symptoms of periodontitis, there are instances where you may be in the early stages without any signs. This is why routine dental exams are important so your dentist can see what you might be missing. When caught early, treatment is far less painless and much easier to treat than if it is caught in the later stages.4. Tooth Loss -
Periodontitis is a disease that, when it is left untreated, will cause tooth loss. This may affect just one tooth, or it can be all of them. In any case, this is the leading cause of tooth loss in adults. This is not just the elderly, those who are in their 30s and 40s can easily lose their teeth due to the disease, and, while uncommon, those in their late teens and 20s can also experience tooth loss due to periodontitis.5. Starts with Gingivitis -
Gingivitis is a common gum disease that typically starts with minimally red and swollen gums, although it can come on with little to no symptoms.When this disease is left untreated, it turns into periodontitis. Gingivitis is easy to treat by your dentist and even easier to prevent with daily tooth care and routine dental exams.6. Periodontitis and Diabetes -
Studies have shown that periodontitis affects more than just your teeth. Those who have been in the later stages of periodontitis have been found to have adverse effects on blood sugar; meaning that even if you do not have any family history of diabetes, or you have not had any previous warning signs, you may develop a type of diabetes if your periodontitis is left untreated.7. Eating Healthy -
Everybody knows that a healthy diet is the secret for a healthy body, but what many do not know is that eating healthy is also the key to your dental health. Studies have shown that eating dairy helps build your teeth and keep them healthy, preventing periodontitis.8. Contagious or Not? -
It is a little-known fact that periodontitis can be spread from one person to another. While it is rare, it can be contagious if the receiving body is susceptible. For instance, if you have not been brushing or flossing or if your immune system has been compromised by a cold or other reason; then you can catch periodontitis, although you must be kissing or receiving mouth to mouth.9. Heart Health -
Periodontitis is also known to add stress to your cardiovascular system, meaning that if you have been diagnosed with periodontitis, then you should also have your heart health checked as well. Those who have periodontitis are at higher risk for heart disease and heart attacks.10. Periodontitis is Preventable -
Periodontitis sounds like a scary disease where it affects your overall health, not just your oral health. The good news is that it is very preventable. All you need to do is visit your dentist twice a year for your routine cleaning and exam and maintain a good brushing and flossing schedule. As long as these steps are taken, you are on a good path to good oral health and preventing disease like periodontitis.
Please contact Dr. Marichia Attalla
for a free consultation regarding any questions or concerns about your periodontal health.