The word “periodontal” means “around the tooth.” Periodontal Disease (also known as “gum infection”, “gum disease” , “pyorrhea” or “periodontal infection”) is an ongoing bacterial infection in the gums and bone around your teeth.
This gum infection leads to inflammation under your gums. If it isn’t treated, the inflammation can destroy the bone around your teeth resulting in tooth loss.
Periodontal infection is the cause of 75% of all adult tooth loss.
More importantly, research has associated gum infection to several serious medical problems, including; heart disease, diabetes and stroke.
As ongoing research continues to define how periodontal disease is associated with these and other health problems, good oral health is essential. Good periodontal health is a key component of a healthy body.
People with periodontal disease have low resistance to periodontal bacteria. This causes an ongoing gum infection that grows in “bursts” of activity. Each time it grows, more support for your teeth bone is lost. Some factors that can cause a “burst” of activity are:
Poor oral hygiene, Dental plaque, Smoking, Genetic factors, Stress or tension, Diet, Medication and Illness, among other symptoms
Periodontal infection is usually painless until it reaches an advanced stage. However, there are some symptoms which can indicate the presence of periodontal infection. These include
- Red or swollen gums
- Bleeding when brushing (pink toothbrush), or at other times
- Aching, itchy, sore or tender gums
- Receding gums (teeth beginning to look longer)
- Pus between your teeth and gums when you press down on the gums
- Bad breath
- Any change in the way your teeth fit together when you bite
- Any change in the fit of partial dentures
- Loose, separating or protruding teeth
Gum Disease is a Major Cause of Adult Tooth Loss
The majority of adult tooth loss is due to periodontal disease. When your gums and bone are damaged by periodontal infection, there is less support for your teeth. As this support disappears, your teeth first become loose and prone to more damage and infection. This ultimately leads to tooth loss. When your dentist recommends periodontal treatment, it is important to get started right away.
When your infection has a burst of activity, or when there are signs that this is about to occur, it is very important that you contact us without delay to schedule a comprehensive evaluation. We will be able to determine the treatment necessary to control your periodontal infection and set you on a path toward excellent oral health. In most cases, we can treat the disease without surgery with early detection. Contact us for a convenient appointment.