According to the American Dental Association,
at least 60% of adults in the United States have moderate-to-severe
gum disease! No doubt, you've heard some of the terms: Plaque,
Tartar, Calculus, Gingivitis, Periodontitis, Pyorrhea, Periodontal
Disease, Gum Disease. But what does it all mean? Quite
simply, Gum Disease (Periodontal Disease) starts when plaque
and tartar (calculus) are allowed to accumulate at the base
of your teeth. The bacteria in the plaque leads to an infection
in the gums (gingiva) called Gingivitis. Left untreated, the
infection spreads to the tissue and bone that holds your teeth
in place, a condition called Periodontitis (Pyorrhea). Because
of the bacterial infection associated with Periodontitis,
tooth abscesses are also common.
This patient has Periodontitis. Notice
the bone deterioration and uneven level of bone.
Healthy gums and bone.
What are the Signs of Gum Disease?
Gum Disease is rarely painful, especially in
the early stages. Although there may be no visible signs,
some of the common indications of Gum Disease are:
Gums that bleed when you brush or floss (healthy gums
will not bleed)
Gums that are red, swollen, or tender
Gums that have pulled away from the teeth (receded)
Pus (infection) between the teeth and gums
Loose permanent teeth or separating (drifting) teeth
Changes in the way your teeth fit together when chewing
Persistent bad breath
What are the Dangers of Gum Disease?
Gum Disease is the leading cause of tooth loss
among adults. More importantly, the infection releases toxins
into the bloodstream leading to serious health risks:
Sources: National Institute
of Dental & Craniofacial Research
and American Heart Association
Is There a Cure?
Gum Treatment can
effectively be used to treat and control even advanced cases
of Periodontitis (Pyorrhea), but the more advanced the disease,
the more likely it will lead to tooth loss. Prevention and
Early Detection are your best defenses against Gum Disease.
It is critical to catch and treat Gum Disease early before
destruction of bone and tissue has compromised your oral health.
How Can I Prevent Gum Disease?
The best "brushers" in the world will
naturally build up tartar on their teeth. Even patients with
"healthy" gums and teeth should see their dentist
regularly to remove the build-up of tartar and check for the
formation of new cavities. Patients with Gum Disease, or patients
that build up large amounts of tartar, may need to have their
teeth cleaned frequently to help control the amount of bacteria
in the mouth. At your regular recall appointments (Cleanings),
we always evaluate the condition of your gums.
thorough exam, which includes x-rays, visual inspection,
and an analysis of hard and soft tissue, helps determine
the health of your gums.
If you have any specific questions about Gum
Disease that weren't answered here, or if you would
like an appointment for a Gum Disease screening, please