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As a periodontics office, we here at Shoreline Periodontics and Implant Dentistry specialize in the prevention, diagnosis, and treatment of gum disease. Gum (periodontal) disease is one of the most common dental problems in the U.S.
What Is Periodontal Disease?
Periodontal disease is the breakdown of the hard and soft tissues that anchor the teeth in the jawbone. It is caused by the body’s reaction to a plaque biofilm, which is formed by the bacteria that normally reside on and around the teeth. When this biofilm is not mechanically disrupted, it works its way underneath the tissue, forms calcified tartar deposits, and produces an overactive response from the body’s immune system known as inflammation. This inflammation is reversible in its early stages. However, when allowed to progress, it results in the separation of the gums away from the teeth (pockets), destruction of the supporting bone, and eventual loosening and loss of the teeth.
>> Learn more about periodontal disease.
Symptoms of Gum Disease
There are two major stages of periodontal disease: gingivitis and periodontitis. Some symptoms of gingivitis include gums that are swollen, red, or tend to bleed easily. Symptoms of periodontitis include gum recession, deep periodontal pockets, and severe inflammation. Persistent bad breath is also a major sign. If left untreated, periodontal disease may lead to tooth loss.
>> Learn more about symptoms of gum disease.
How Is Gum Disease Treated?
Treatment of periodontal disease varies based on a number of factors, but all treatments consist of achieving the same basic goals of disrupting the biofilm and creating a micro-environment conducive to health. A deep pocket is a niche that favors harmful bacteria, so if we don’t eliminate the pocket, the inflammation will inevitably return.
Several studies over the years have shown a strong connection between our oral and overall well-being. Certain illnesses like diabetes, cardiovascular disease, and other systemic problems have been linked to the presence of periodontal disease. In some instances, this illness can weaken your immune system, putting you at greater risk for periodontal infection. In other cases, the infection stemming from periodontal disease can increase your risk for systemic illnesses.
>> Learn more about the mouth and body connection.
Dental Consequence of Periodontal Disease
Periodontal disease can have severe and widespread consequences for your oral health. Once the disease spreads to your connective ligaments and your underlying bone, it can result in irreversible damage. In some cases, this damage can be so severe that you need a bone or gum graft, especially during dental implant treatment.
>> Learn more about the consequences of periodontal disease.
The best way to combat periodontal disease is with prevention. If you are at a greater risk for gum disease you may need to pay special attention to your gums during brushing and flossing. Risk factors for periodontal disease include:
If you are at greater risk for gum disease or exhibit any symptoms, Dr. Hoge may suggest improved periodontal maintenance. When brushing and flossing it can be helpful to remind yourself why you are doing it. Proper techniques should result in more effective plaque and tartar control.
>> Learn more about periodontal maintenance.
Schedule Your Appointment
To find out if you have gum disease call 920-452-8802, and schedule your appointment now!