What is periodontal (gum) disease?

Periodontal disease or gum disease is a very common problem in which persistent inflammation and infection of the oral tissue adjacent to the gums occurs. Gum disease is to blame for 70% of adult tooth loss and roughly three out of every four suffer from gum disease.


Warning signs and preliminary symptoms of periodontal disease include:

Reddish, swollen, tender, or inflamed gums
Frequent bleeding during brushing or flossing
Gums that draw away from the teeth
Loose, wobbly, or separating teeth
Constant bad breath
Inconsistency in the way the teeth fit together when biting
A sudden alteration in the fit of partial dentures

What does periodontal treatment involve?

It is very important to catch periodontal disease in the early stages. Common periodontal treatment entails scaling and root planning, which entails eradicating plaque and tartar near the location of the tooth and evening the root surfaces. The use of antibiotics or antimicrobials can bolster the results of these procedures. Serious or highly developed cases of gum disease may involve a surgical procedure to remove the toughened plaque build-up, and to re-contour bone structure that had been damaged. Smoothing of the root surfaces and repositioning of the gum tissue will be performed during this process to ensure easy cleaning and maintenance.

What are some causes of periodontal disease?

Bacterial plaque, which is a tacky, colorless film that constantly materializes on the teeth, is recognized as the chief cause of periodontal disease. This plaque eventually hardens into a substance called calculus (or tartar) if it is not removed daily by way of brushing and flossing. Plaque creates toxins that irritate the gums, causing the deterioration of gum fibers which serve to fuse your teeth & gums together. Additionally, these toxins are capable of producing periodontal pockets which make your gums even more vulnerable to added pollutants and bacteria. As this disease evolves, the periodontal pockets extend deeper into the tissue, followed by the bacteria until the bone that holds the tooth in place is all but destroyed. The infected tooth will eventually fall out or require removal.

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