What is Periodontal Disease?
Periodontal treatment is necessary when various conditions affect the health of your gums and the regions of your jaw bone that hold your teeth in place. Retaining your teeth is directly dependent on your systemic health, proper periodontal care and maintenance. Healthy gums enhance the appearance of your teeth, like a frame around a beautiful painting. When your gums become unhealthy, they can either recede , become swollen and red and will bleed easily. You might also suffer from constant bad breath and taste in your mouth. In later stages, the supporting bone is destroyed by harmful bacteria and infection, your teeth will shift, loosen, or fall out. These changes not only affect your ability to chew and speak. They also affect your smile and lower your self-esteem.
There are two major categories of Periodontal Disease : Gingivitis and Periodontitis. While gingivitis, the less serious of the diseases, may never progress into periodontitis, it always precedes periodontitis.
Dental plaque is the primary cause of gingivitis in genetically-susceptible individuals. Plaque is a sticky colorless film, composed primarily of food particles and various types of bacteria, which adhere to your teeth above and below the gum line. Plaque constantly forms on your teeth, even minutes after cleaning. Bacteria found in plaque produce toxins or poisons that irritate the gums and affect your health . Gums may become inflamed, red, swollen, and bleed easily. If this irritation is prolonged, the gums separate from the teeth causing pockets (spaces) to form. If daily brushing and flossing is neglected, plaque can also harden into a rough, porous substance known as calculus (or tartar). This can occur both above and below the gum line.
If gingivitis progresses into periodontitis, the supporting gum tissue and bone that holds teeth in place deteriorates. The progressive loss of this bone, can lead to loss of teeth and gum infection. All of this can lead to an additional stress for your vital organs , weaker immune system, less energy and more illness.
Periodontal disease is dangerous in that it is often painless and symptomless. Eighty percent of Americans will be afflicted with periodontal disease by age 45, and 4 out of 5 patients with the disease are unaware they have it. It is important to maintain proper home oral care and regular dentist visits to reduce the risk of obtaining this disease.