Periodontal disease affects the gums
and bone supporting the teeth causing inflammation, tooth loss, and
bone damage. The infection usually starts when the gums become
inflamed due to bacteria in plaque, a sticky, colorless film that
forms on your teeth. Some other factors which can affect the health
of the gums and bone are smoking or tobacco use, stress, genetics,
pregnancy, medications, diabetes, poor nutrition.
Periodontal disease comes in many
forms. Gingivitis, when the gums become red, swollen and bleed
easily, is perhaps the mildest form of gum disease and typically
there is very little to no discomfort. With a good oral hygiene
regimen and treatment from your hygienist and dentist, the results
of gingivitis can be reversed.
Periodontitis is another
form of periodontal disease and can be aggressive or chronic.
Aggressive periodontitis displays rapid bone destruction and
attachment loss in clinically healthy patients. Chronic
periodontitis, recognized by gum recession and pocket formation,
progresses slowly and is frequently seen
in adults. A deep cleaning (scaling and root planing,) is
sometimes recommended to reduce the risk of further destruction of
the supporting tissue.
Daily brushing and flossing can keep
plaque to a minimum and, in conjunction with professional cleanings
2-4 times a year, can keep your teeth healthy for life.