Periodontal disease is gum disease. There are two forms of this disease. Gingivitis is the first and it is a mild inflammation to the gums. The second form is known as periodontitis. This one is much more serious.
With periodontitis, the inflammation is much more severe and can gradually destroy the bone that holds the teeth in place.
A visit to Dr. Weinberg will determine whether or not you have gingivitis or periodontitis. X-rays can show the amount of bone damage. Bleeding gums are a sign of these diseases. Healthy gums are pink and firm.
When plaque builds up on the teeth next to the gums, the gums can become inflamed as the bacteria in the plaque will breed the infection.
With good oral hygiene, gingivitis is reversible. The inflamed and swollen gums can return to their normal state.
Periodontitis, which is the more serious form of gum disease, comes about when there is neglect in removing the plaque, allowing the plaque to accumulate over a long period of time. The gum disease becomes more severe and the teeth begin to detach from the gums, thus, creating a space between the gums and the teeth known as pockets. As these pockets become deeper, the jawbone which holds the teeth in place begins the process of deterioration. This gradual deterioration is painless but has devastating consequences. Gums begin to recede and teeth become loose.
People with diabetes have an increased risk of periodontal disease. It is still not known the exact reasons why, but those individuals with diabetes are more likely to develop periodontal disease.
Some of the factors that contribute to the periodontal disease being more prevalent in those with diabetes are:
The immune system in diabetics is often weaker than the others.
Diabetics are often overweight and excessive body fat can be a contributing factor.
Small and delicate blood vessels known as capillaries in the gums could reduce the blood supply to the gums. This can greatly limit the action of defense cells.
Diabetics often suffer from slow wound healing and healing in the gums slows down as well.
It is important to note that diabetics who control their blood sugar levels will be more successful in fighting periodontal disease than those that have poor control issues.
Cleaning your teeth at least twice a day will help you to prevent gum disease. It is very important to clean the teeth where the gum meets the tooth. If you have teeth that are overlapping or are hard to get to with a regular toothbrush, try using a single tufted brush to get into the hard to reach areas. Always floss as well.