If you have been diagnosed with periodontal disease, you are not alone. Many others have the same problem. Finding the disease is the first step in preventing tooth lost.

What is Periodontal Disease?

Periodontal disease is an infection that affects the tissues and bone that support teeth.
Healthy gum tissue fits like a cuff around each tooth. When someone has periodontal disease, the gum tissue pulls away from the tooth. As the disease worsens, the tissue and bone that support the tooth are destroyed. Over time, teeth may fall out or need to be removed. Treating periodontal disease in the early stages can help prevent tooth loss.

Periodontal disease and whole-body health

Tooth loss is not the only possible problem posed by periodontal diseases. There may be a link between periodontal disease and
cardiovascular disease (heart disease and stroke). High stress may also be linked to periodontal disease. Researchers are still studying these links.

How do I know if I have periodontal disease?

It can be hard to know. You can have periodontal disease without clear symptoms. That’s why regular dental checkups and periodontal examinations are very important.

Several warning signs can signal a problem. If you notice any of t he following, see your dentist:

  • gums that bleed when you brush or floss
  • red, swollen, or tender gums
  • gums that have pulled away from your teeth
  • bad breath that doesn’t go away
  • pus between the teeth and gums
  • loose or separating teeth
  • a change in the way your teeth fit together when you bite
  • a change in the fit of partial dentures

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Effects of Periodontal Disease

Normal - Healthy Gums and Bone

Normal, healthy gums and bone.

Gingivitis - Irritated Gums

Gingivitis – irritated gums.

Periodontitis - Loss of Tissue and Bone

Periodontitis – loss of tissue and bone.

Advanced Periodontitis - Sever damage to supporting ligament and bone

Advanced periodontitis – sever damage to supporting ligament and bone.

What causes periodontal disease?

Periodontal disease is caused by plaque, a sticky film that is always forming on your teeth. Plaque contains bacteria that produce harmful toxins. If teeth are not cleaned well, the toxins can irritate and inflame the gums. Inflamed gums can pull away from the teeth and form spaces called pockets. The pockets provide a home for more bacteria. If the infected pockets are not treated, the disease can get worse. The bone and other tissues that support teeth are damaged. Plaque can be removed if you brush your teeth twice a day and floss daily. If plaque stays on teeth, it can harden into a rough surface called tartar. Tartar can only be removed when teeth are cleaned at the dental office.

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How can I prevent periodontal diseases?

A good oral hygiene routine practiced for a few minutes twice a day can help reduce your risk of getting periodontal disease and tooth decay.

  • Brush your teeth twice a day with fluoride toothpaste.
  • Floss or use another between-the-tooth cleaner daily to remove plaque and bits of food from areas your toothbrush can’t reach.
  • If you need extra help controlling gingivitis and plaque, your dentist or hygienist may recommend using an ADA-accepted germ-fighting mouth-rinse or other oral hygiene aids.
  • Eat a balanced diet for good general health and limit snacks.
  • Visit your dentist regularly. Professional cleanings are the only way to remove tartar, which traps bacteria along the gum line.

Call Us Today At (239) 561-8325 To Schedule Your Next Dental Appointment.

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