Caring for your oral health includes regular teeth and gum care. Neglecting your gums can eventually lead to periodontal disease, also known as gum disease, which is a culprit for the deterioration of your overall oral health. Periodontal disease affects 75 percent of adults over 35 years of age and is responsible for approximately 70 percent of all adult tooth loss. Since symptoms of periodontal disease are mild, some people never realize their mouth is under bacterial attack.
Highly recognized as a greatly progressive disorder, periodontal disease is triggered by preventable factors, like plaque buildup, tobacco use, certain medications, and stress, as well as unpreventable causes, like systematic disease and fluctuating hormone levels during puberty, pregnancy, or menopause. Research proves up to 30 percent of the population may be genetically susceptible to gum disease.
Periodontal disease begins when the bacteria in the sticky film which forms on the tooth surface, what we call plaque, causes gum inflammation. If the irritation is ignored, plaque will release toxins to break down the natural fibers that hold your gums to your teeth, permitting even more bacteria and toxins to invade. Plaque deposits quickly harden into calculus or tartar, which is a rough, porous substance that cannot be removed by brushing. Over time, this progression can lead to severe inflammation, bone loss, gum recession, and tooth loss.
Symptoms and signs include:
- Red, swollen, tender, or bleeding gums
- Gum recession, or gums pulling away from teeth
- Loose or separating teeth
- Pus between the gum and tooth
- Persistent bad breath (halitosis)
- Bite changes
- Change in the fit of partial dentures
If you have noticed any of the above signs or symptoms, please call us immediately to schedule a consultation and assessment. Together, we can win the battle against periodontal disease and maintain your fresh and healthy smile.