The word periodontal 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. If plaque is not removed, it turns into calculus (tartar). When plaque and calculus are not removed, they begin to destroy the gums and bone. Periodontal disease is characterized by red, swollen, and bleeding gums.
Four out of five people have periodontal disease and don’t know it! Most people are not aware of it because the disease is usually painless in the early stages.
Not only is periodontal disease the number one reason for tooth loss, research indicates there is a strong link between periodontal disease and overall health. This includes, but is not limited to: stroke, bacterial pneumonia, diabetes, cardiovascular disease, and preterm and low birth weight babies in pregnant women. Researchers have determined if inflammation and bacteria associated with periodontal disease influences these systemic diseases and conditions. Smoking 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: