Written by Gaby

What is periodontitis and how do you prevent it?

Periodontal disease is a term for advanced gum inflammation that can have harmful consequences for your teeth. Still, over 10 percent of all Dutch people have periodontal disease, often without knowing it. Once you have it, only surgery can partially help you get rid of it. Make sure not to let it advance that far. I'll tell you how.

What is periodontal disease exactly?

What is periodontal disease?

Periodontal disease starts with inflammation of your gums. It's also known as gingivitis, and is caused by excessive plaque and calculus. If you don't do anything about it now, the inflammation may spread to the jawbone. Your gums will loosen, which will lead to space between your dentine and your gums. In these pockets, new plaque will form, which will add to the inflammation. Finally, your teeth may start to come loose, and your jawbone might break.

How do I recognize periodontal disease?

How do I recognize periodontal disease?

It's difficult to recognize periodontal disease in time. The symptoms only show themselves at late stages. The symptoms are:

  • receded gums
  • red, weak, swollen gums
  • bleeding gums

The bleeding often starts while eating or brushing teeth. It usually won't hurt, which is why people don't do anything. The main thing you can recognize periodontal disease by is a continuous bad taste in your mouth and very bad breath that doesn't go away after brushing teeth.

What can I do against periodontal disease?

Dentist and periodontal disease

Periodontal disease is a dental, focal infection. This means the inflammation can also infect other parts of the body if the harmful bacteria enter the bloodstream. If this happens, periodontal disease bacteria can cause heart attacks or brain infarcts in extreme cases.

Periodontal disease can only be cured through treatment by your dentist. He or she will remove the calculus in the pockets. A person can only recover from periodontal disease if the mouth is intensively cared for after this treatment.

How do I prevent periodontal disease?

To prevent periodontal disease, it's important to keep your gums healthy and to remove plaque from your mouth as thoroughly as possible. The first step is to brush your teeth with an electric toothbrush.

Electric toothbrushes remove far more plaque than you'd ever be able to with a manual toothbrush. Only electric toothbrushes can prevent oral complaints, which is why they're essential for your health.

Want to know more? Ask your dentist.

If you recognize the symptoms above or simply want more information, ask your dentist for advice. They can answer all your questions and advise you on possible treatments.

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