Periodontal Disease, also known as Gum Disease is a chronic bacterial infection that is caused by plaque. Plaque is a sticky bacterial film that forms on your teeth, tongue and gums. Plaque needs to be removed daily with proper hygiene to prevent tooth decay and gum disease or else if left for some time it will harden into Tartar. If left untreated, Tartar which harbors bacteria, causes breakdown of the surrounding gum and bone, which support teeth. This breakdown of supporting tissue presents itself through “deep periodontal pockets” which your dentist would routinely measure. Healthy Gums or Gingiva is a healthy mouth. Gums are pink, supportive tissue not broken down and the teeth fit securely in their sockets. Periodontal Disease first stage is called Gingivitis. Gums are swollen, red and bleed easily when you brush or floss your teeth. Treatable at this stage with brushing and flossing daily and coming in for regular dental examinations and cleaning. Second Stage is Periodontitis. The disease breaks down the bone and the tissue of the gums that support the teeth. Treatment is needed. The pockets are starting to deepen and fill with bacteria. Third Stage is Advanced Periodontitis. At this stage the pockets are very deep and might get infected with pus. Extensive bone loss that may result in tooth loss. Immediate treatment is required.
Other irritants besides plaque that may contribute to the factors of Gum Disease are tobacco, poor nutrition, grinding or clenching teeth due to stress, and some medications. Come in for an examination and we will thoroughly examine your mouth. Your gums will be evaluated for swelling, bleeding, depth of periodontal pockets. Periodontal disease is quite serious and we will work hard to make sure you and your family continue to enjoy healthy teeth and gums. If you have any bleeding of gums during routine brushing or eating please call for an evaluation.