Periodontal or gum disease happens when bacteria gets below the gum line and the attachment between the gum and tooth is lost. Three out of four Americans have some form of periodontal disease and only 3 out of 100 will ever get treated before it’s too late.
Gum disease is a silent, chronic, painless and communicable bacterial infection that often goes undetected or ignored until severe gum and bone destruction is unbearable and no longer able to be ignored. Left untreated, gum disease can cause tooth loss and traditional treatment can hurt.
The objective of treatment for gum disease is to eliminate the source of irritation or infection. This may involve both non-surgical and surgical treatment options. Our periodontist will discuss your particular case in detail with you, and will present you with treatment options that will be customized for your care.
Periodontal treatment is necessary when various conditions affect the health of your gums and the regions of your jawbone that hold your teeth in place. Retaining your teeth is directly dependent on proper periodontal care and maintenance. Healthy gums enhance the appearance of your teeth, like a frame around a beautiful painting. When your gums become unhealthy, they can either recede or become swollen and red. In later stages, the supporting bone is destroyed and your teeth will shift, loosen, or fall out. These changes not only affect your ability to chew and speak. They also spoil your smile.
Periodontal diseases are ongoing infections of the gums that gradually destroy the support of your natural teeth. Dental plaque is the primary cause of gum disease in genetically-susceptible individuals. Bacteria found in plaque produce toxins or poisons that irritate the gums. They may cause them to turn red, swell, and bleed easily. If this irritation is prolonged, the gums separate from the teeth causing pockets (spaces) to form. Plaque can also harden into a rough, porous substance known as calculus (or tartar). This can occur both above and below the gum line. As periodontal diseases progress, the supporting gum tissue and bone that holds teeth in place deteriorate. If left untreated, this leads to tooth loss. However, don’t be fooled. With periodontal disease, bleeding, redness, and swelling do not have to be present. Further, pain is usually not associated with periodontal disease. This disease damages the teeth, gum, and jawbone of more than 80 percent of Americans by age 45.
Periodontal Disease as well as decay are both caused by Bacterial Plaque. Plaque is a sticky colorless film, composed primarily of various types of bacteria, which adhere to your teeth at and below the gum line. Plaque constantly forms on your teeth. It begins to form within minutes after cleaning. If not carefully removed by daily brushing and flossing, plaque hardens into a rough, porous substance known as calculus (or tartar). This cannot be removed without professional cleaning.
The Bacterial plaque produces toxins or poisons that irritate the gums, which may (but not always) cause them to turn red, swell and bleed easily. If this irritation is prolonged, the gums separate from the teeth, causing Periodontal Pockets (spaces) to form along the tooth. As periodontal diseases progress, the supporting gum tissue and bone that holds teeth in place deteriorate. If left untreated, this leads to tooth loss.
Adults over the age of 35 lose more teeth to gum diseases than from cavities. Three out of four adults are affected at some time in their life. The best way to prevent cavities and Periodontal Diseases is by daily thorough tooth brushing and flossing techniques and regular professional examinations and cleanings.
To provide you with a better understanding of periodontics, we have provided the following multimedia presentation. Many common questions pertaining to periodontics are discussed.
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Unfortunately, even with the most diligent home dental care, people still can develop some form of periodontal disease. Once this disease starts, professional intervention is necessary to prevent its progress.
Other important factors affecting the health of your gums include:
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