What is Periodontal Disease?

Periodontal Diseases Presentation

To provide you with a better understanding of periodontics and the science behind periodontal diseases, we have provided the following multimedia presentation. Many common questions pertaining to the practices of periodontal surgeons are discussed.

What is Periodontal Disease? What is Gum Disease?

Healthy gums are important for a healthy body. Periodontal (gum) diseases are serious bacterial infections that destroy the gums and supporting bone that hold the teeth in the mouth. Left untreated, periodontal disease can lead to tooth loss as well as health problems, including higher risks for heart attack, stroke, and diabetes. Our doctors are board certified specialists in the treatment of periodontal disease.

There are a number of different types of periodontal disease entities which require different types of treatment. This is why a specialist in periodontics is the most qualified dentist to treat the problem. As the main source of gum disease in genetically predisposed people, dental plaque needs to be addressed. Fortunately, a daily routine of brushing and flossing will prevent most periodontal problems.

Other factors that can affect the health of your gums include:

  • Smoking or the use of tobacco
  • Pregnancy and Puberty
  • Diabetes
  • Stress
  • Medications
  • Clenching or Grinding Your Teeth
  • Poor nutrition

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Smoking and Periodontal Disease

Everyone knows that smoking is bad for your health. But did you also know that smoking is a major contributor to gum disease? In fact, all forms of tobacco can adversely affect the health of your teeth and gums including cigars, snuff, smokeless tobacco, and hookah pipes.

Tobacco use has been shown to cause the following:

  • Increases the risk for oral cancer
  • Increases the risk for gum disease
  • Increases the risk for gum recession which can lead to tooth loss and root decay
  • Decrease rate of healing following oral surgery
  • Increased tartar development requiring more frequent and deeper cleanings

The Importance of Good Oral Hygiene

The best way to prevent cavities and gum disease (Periodontal Disease) is by good tooth brushing and flossing techniques, performed daily including routine dental cleanings with your dentist or hygienist. For many adults however, this isn’t enough; in fact, more people over the age of 35 lose teeth because of gum disease than because of cavities. Moreover, three quarters of all adults will be affected by gum disease at some point in their life.

Both gum disease and tooth decay can come about because of bacteria or bacterial plaque. Plaque is a colorless film that is constantly accumulating on your teeth at the gum line. The best way to combat this cumulative build up, and help prevent periodontal disease, is to regularly brush and floss. If plaque remains on your teeth however, it will turn into tartar and will require removal by the dentist or hygienist.

Periodontal Disease: What you should know

Periodontal disease, also known as gum disease, is one of the most common infections today. More than 75% of North Americans over 35 years of age have some form of periodontal disease.

Although many are infected, few know they actually have the disease. In a recent study, 8 out of 10 people surveyed believed they did not have periodontal disease, 7 out of 10 exhibited one or more symptoms.

Periodontal diseases are painless until they reach an advanced stage. If left untreated, periodontal diseases can result in:

  • Red, swollen and bleeding gums
  • Loose teeth
  • Gum recession
  • Bone loss
  • Tooth loss
  • General health problems

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In addition, uncontrolled periodontal disease has been linked to increased risk of developing heart attacks, strokes, diabetes, and pre-term low birth weight infants for expecting mothers. Therefore, treating periodontal disease is a necessary component to keep your body healthy. Your health is important to us, so let us help you have the best health possible.

Periodontal diseases are the leading cause of tooth loss in adults. Luckily, periodontal diseases are some of the most preventable diseases which is why it’s important to visit your Periodontist regularly.

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These x-ray images show severe bone loss around all the teeth caused by periodontal disease. The loss of bone extends past the midpoint of the tooth roots and is obvious by the large black spaces between the teeth.