Healthy gums are critical for your overall oral health. A large percentage of the population have this silent disease that can damage their teeth, gums, and jawbones.
What is Periodontal disease?
Periodontal disease is a term that is often used as a synonym for gum disease. It is an infection of the gum tissues. We don’t, however, usually use the term periodontal disease for mild gum inflammation or gingivitis—we only use it when that disease has progressed to the point where it begins to compromise the integrity of the bony support of the teeth.
It is typically caused by dental plaque. The bacteria found in dental plaque can produce toxins which irritate the gums. In response, the gums can swell, bleed, and appear more red than normal.
The Consequences of Periodontal Disease
If left untreated, your gums can separate from your teeth and create “pockets” or spaces between the gum and your teeth. At times, plaque can also harden into what is called dental calculus, or tartar, and this can begin the breakdown of the structures that support your teeth.
If left untreated for too long, the supporting gum tissue and bone which hold teeth in place start to deteriorate, leading ultimately to the loss of the teeth. It is critical to seek treatment as soon as possible to minimize the damage.
If you suspect you have periodontal disease, give us a call or request an appointment online and we will call you.