Periodontal Disease

Periodontal disease refers to diseases related to the gums, bone, and surrounding structures of teeth.  Gingivitis refers to inflammation and reddening of the gum tissues.  Periodontitis relates to disease of the bone and connective tissues that support the teeth.

Gum tissue becomes inflammed when bacterial presence causes the formation of a  sticky substance called plaque.  When the plaque is not removed in a timely fashion by brushing and flossing , the plaque becomes calcified and can no longer be removed by routine at home cleaning.  The calculus must be scaled away in the dental office.  If calculus accumulates below the gum level in large amounts, the result will be bone loss and advanced periodontal disease.

Risk factors for periodontal disease include poor nutrition, poor home care, certain medications which have dry mouth as a side effect, smoking, stress, and genetics.

Patients should see their dentist regularly for routine cleanings to prevent excessive plaque and calculus accumulations.  Some of the early warning signs of periodontal disease include bleeding gums, loose teeth, changes in your bite, and bad breath.

If left untreated, periodontal disease can lead to tooth loss and subsequent difficulty in chewing.  There is documented evidence that poor oral hygiene and periodontal disease are directly related to systemic medical diseases such as diabetes, respiratory disease, heart attack and stroke.

If you have not seen a dentist for quite some time it would be a good idea to schedule a cleaning appointment.  Routine dental visits can lower the risk of you having advanced periodontal disease and all the ill related effects that  comes with the disease.

Please call our office with any questions you might have.