Periodontal disease is the buildup of bacteria around the teeth. The proliferation of bacteria can quickly turn into an infection that causes the gums around the teeth to bleed and become inflamed. Brushing and flossing can actually make the problem worse because the bristles tear at the tender flesh causing the bacteria and infection to spread. If not treated in a timely fashion, the infection can cause irreparable damage to the tissues and structures that support the teeth. If these structures become severely damaged, the gums can recede and teeth can become loose and eventually fall out.
Periodontal disease can be prevented for the most part. In most cases, practicing good oral hygiene will help to reduce the risk of periodontal disease and other types of infections that usually attack the mouth. Proper brushing and flossing techniques, eating the right types of foods, and using an ADA-recommended mouthwash as needed can help to protect the mouth from the harmful forms of bacteria that often lead to periodontal disease. In some cases, bacterial infections can be associated with other illnesses. To maintain good oral health, the dentist may have to work with the primary medical doctor to eliminate the original cause.
The best treatment for periodontal disease is to prevent it. This includes addressing any medical conditions or medications that may increase the risk of potential infection. Teaching proper brushing and flossing techniques is imperative if food and debris are to be sufficiently removed. Getting a thorough dental checkup will also help to prevent periodontal disease. The dentist and hygienist will be able to identify a patient's strengths and weaknesses when it comes to proper oral care. The dentist may also recommend using a fluoride mouthwash that kills bacteria to help keep the mouth clean and fresh.