Periodontal Disease
Periodontal Disease

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:

  • Bleeding gums – healthy gums do not bleed, upon normal brushing and flossing
  • Loose teeth – 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

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