Periodontal disease, also known as gum disease, is a chronic inflammation and infection of the gums, bone, and surrounding tissue. It is the major cause of adult tooth loss, and affects 3 out of 4 adults at some point in their life!
Bacterial plaque is a sticky film that constantly forms on the teeth. If plaque is not removed each day with proper brushing and flossing, it hardens into calculus, also known as tarter. The bacteria releases toxins, or poisons, that break down the fibers holding the gums tightly to the tooth. In other words, this bacteria is going down the surface of the tooth and eating away everything in its path, the gums and the bone! As these pockets get deeper, they fill with more bacteria and toxins. If left untreated, the tooth may eventually fall out or need extraction.
Unlike most diseases that give us early warning signs, Periodontal Disease progresses silently, often with no pain. Recent research is now linking Periodontal Disease to strokes, heart attacks, lung infections, pre-term low-birth weight infants, increased risks of cancer, and more! Some of the warning signs include:
- Red, swollen, or tender gums;
- Bleeding while brushing or flossing;
- Persistent bad breath;
- Loose or separating teeth;
- Changes in your bite.
In the early stages, most treatment involves scaling and root planing (Deep Cleanings) to remove the plaque and calculus around the tooth. Antibiotics and/or antimicrobials may be used to supplement the effects of Periodontal Therapy. More advanced cases of Periodontal Disease may require surgical treatment.
Sticking to a regular oral hygiene regimen is crucial for you to maintain good oral health. Removing plaque through daily brushing, flossing, and professional cleaning is the best way to minimize your risk. We can design a personalized program of home oral care to meet your needs!