Are you making a last-minute appointment with the dentist because you cannot deal with your pain any more? In truth, you may have been rather slow to schedule any visits to this expert over recent years, and now you may be paying the price for this inaction. On this occasion, you may need to have an extraction due to the damage caused, but you may be wondering if he or she will give you some additional bad news as well. If you've been noticing some tell-tale signs of blood in the sink after your brush, could you be suffering from periodontal disease? What does this entail?
Plaque Is the Enemy
As time goes by and you eat your daily meals, plaque will build up in the mouth and will tend to stick to the surface of the teeth. It's an invisible substance that's naturally occurring when the starches and sugars interact with host bacteria. Brushing will get rid of some of it, but not all, and as it builds up, it will penetrate below the gum line and form a hard substance, known as tartar.
Not in Check
Dental assistants will usually get rid of this tartar during a cleaning visit, but if you don't turn up, then it may progress to such a point that it causes a condition known as gingivitis. Inflammation will accelerate in the areas between the teeth and gums and will eventually cause an infection that spreads through the tissue into the bone itself. This is periodontitis and can be progressive.
Some people are even more vulnerable to this risk due to their lifestyle. Smoking can create a favourable environment for bacteria and can kill some of the natural bacteria that may help to control this process. Over-the-counter medications can inhibit the body's ability to produce saliva in the mouth, which is a natural cleaning agent.
Some people do not eat a balanced diet and may be deficient in certain vitamins and minerals. Unfortunately, this can lead to a calcium deficiency, which can affect the bones and gums in the mouth and exacerbate any issues you may be experiencing. This can be rectified to a certain extent by taking multivitamins or specific minerals in higher doses, but the damage may already have been done at this point.
Got to Start Somewhere
The good news is that periodontal disease is treatable, but only in expert hands. Once you have made this initial visit and dealt with any tooth extractions to remove the pain, check with your dentist to come up with a course of action ahead.