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Periodontal Disease

The word means “around the tooth”.  Periodontal disease attacks the gums and the bone that support the teeth.  

Plaque is a sticky film of food debris, bacteria, and saliva.  When plaque is not removed thru regular teeth brushing, it turns into calculus or tartar.  This is a hard substance that needs to be scraped off using dental instruments.  The lingering presence of both plaque and calculus can begin to destroy the gums and bone.  

It has been estimated that four out of five people have periodontal disease and don’t know it!  This is because the disease is usually painless in the early stages.  By the time you have red and swollen gums that bleed easily, periodontal disease - or gum disease, as some patients will call it - has taken hold.

It is also the number one reason for tooth loss. 

Research suggests that there may be a link between periodontal disease and other diseases such as, stroke, bacterial pneumonia, diabetes, cardiovascular disease, and increased risk during pregnancy.  Researchers are determining if inflammation and bacteria associated with periodontal disease affects these systemic diseases and conditions.  Smoking also increases the risk of periodontal disease.

Good oral hygiene, a balanced diet, and regular dental visits can help reduce your risk of developing periodontal disease.

 

Signs and symptoms of periodontal disease:

  • Bleeding gums – Gums should never bleed, even when you brush vigorously or use dental floss.
  • Loose teeth – Also caused by bone loss or weakened periodontal fibers (fibers that support the tooth to the bone).
  • New spacing between teeth – Caused by bone loss.
  • Persistent bad breath – Caused by bacteria in the mouth.
  • Pus around the teeth and gums – Sign that there is an infection present.
  • Receding gums – Loss of gum around a tooth.
  • Red and puffy gums – Gums should never be red or swollen.
  • Tenderness or Discomfort – Plaque, calculus, and bacteria irritate the gums and teeth.

 

If you have any questions, concerns, or would like to schedule an appointment, please contact us today.  We look forward to providing you with the personal care you deserve.