Periodontal disease is an infection of the gums which can gradually destroy the the bone that supports your natural teeth. There are numerous disease entities requiring different treatment approaches. Dental plaque is the primary cause of gum disease in genetically susceptible individuals. Daily brushing and flossing will help to prevent most periodontal conditions.
Why is oral hygiene so important?
Adults over 35 lose more teeth to gum disease (periodontal disease) than from cavities. Three out of four adults are affected at some time in their life. The best way to prevent cavities and periodontal disease is to have good tooth brushing and flossing techniques, performed daily.
Periodontal disease and decay are both caused by bacterial plaque. Plaque is a colorless film that sticks to your teeth at the gum line. Plaque constantly forms on your teeth. By thorough daily brushing and flossing you can remove most of these germs and help prevent periodontal disease.
Periodontal diseases can be accelerated by a number of different factors. However, it is mainly caused by the bacteria found in dental plaque. If not carefully removed by daily brushing and flossing, plaque hardens into a rough, porous substance known as calculus (or tartar).
Other important factors affecting the health of your gums include:
- Clenching and grinding teeth
- Poor nutrition
Bacteria found in plaque produces toxins or poisons that irritate the gums, which may cause them to turn red, swell and bleed. If this irritation is prolonged, the gums separate from the teeth, causing pockets (spaces) to form. As periodontal diseases progress, the supporting gum tissue and bone that holds teeth in place deteriorate. If left untreated, tooth loss may be inevitable.
Preventing Gum Disease
The best way to prevent gum disease is effective daily brushing and flossing as well as regular exams and cleanings. Unfortunately, even with the most diligent home dental care, people still can develop some form of periodontal disease. Once this disease starts, professional intervention is necessary to prevent its progress. Please ask one of our hygienies about our Perio-Protect program.