The word periodontal means “around the tooth”. Therfore it makes sense that periodontal disease attacks the gums and the bone that support the teeth. At our dental office we consider the areas that surround the tooth to be very important. Afterall, the bone and gum tissue that surround your tooth is what holds it in place. Periodontal disease does not form all on its own. There are a few contributors, one of them is plaque. Plaque is a sticky film of food debris, bacteria, and saliva. If plaque is not removed, it turns into calculus (tartar). Calculus is a mineral like, hard deposit on the teeth. When plaque and calculus are not removed, they begin to destroy the gums and bone causing them to recede. 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 it the number one reason for tooth loss, research suggests that there may be a link between periodontal disease and other diseases such as, stroke, bacterial pneumonia, diabetes, cardiovascular disease, and increased risk during pregnancy including but not limited to low birth weight and premature birth. Researchers are determining if inflammation and bacteria associated with periodontal disease affects these systemic diseases and conditions. Smoking also 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: