Chances are that you or a family member have some stage of gum (periodontal) disease. Relax. While many adults do develop some degree of periodontal disease as part of the aging process, there are some steps you can take to prevent it.
We have compiled the latest information about periodontal health-information you can use to retain your smile for a lifetime.
What is Periodontal Disease?
Periodontal disease is caused by plaque, a colorless film of bacteria that forms on teeth. Plaque is most harmful when these bacteria form into colonies; a process accounting for about 24 hours. If not removed daily, plaque mixes with sugars and starches in the diet to form acids and other by-products in the mouth. Plaque irritates the gums, causing them to become red, tender and swollen. It also causes the gums to bleed easily. If not removed, plaque hardens to form calculus (tartar) around the necks of the teeth.
Eventually, the tissue that attaches the gums to the teeth is destroyed by the irritants in plaque. The gums pull away from the teeth and small pockets form between the teeth and gums. These pockets become filled with more plaque. Eventually, the jawbone supporting the teeth is destroyed.
Periodontal disease is usually a slow, painless, progressive disease. Most adults with gum disease are unaware that they have it. However, if diagnosed early, the teeth can be saved.
Other Causes of Periodontal Gum Disease
In addition to plaque, a number of other
What Are The Symptoms?
You need not lose your
teeth to gum
Of course, the only way to confirm a diagnosis of periodontal disease is to have your mouth thoroughly examined, and the necessary oral x-rays taken. We also recommend a thorough prophylaxis (tooth cleaning) for adults at least twice a year. At that time we may use a special instrument called a periodontal probe to measure the depth of the crevice (pocket) - the space between the tooth and the gum tissue. Pocket depth measurement, clinical examination and x-rays determine the precise extent of gum disease.
The type of treatment required depends upon the stage of the disease. Individualized treatment may include any of the following:
More than half of all adults aged 35 and over have the early stages of this disease. Three out of four adults are eventually affected by it. Periodontal disease is the primary cause of lost teeth after age 35. But the good news is that there are steps you can take to prevent periodontal disease in your mouth. If caught in its early stages, gum disease can be reversed.
You need not lose your teeth to gum disease.
|Courtsey : Gentle Dentistry, P.A.