Periodontal disease, also known as gum disease, is an infection of the supporting gum tissue surrounding and maintaining the stability of your teeth. Bacteria found in plaque produces toxins or poisons that irritate the gums, which may cause them to turn red, swell and bleed easily. Bacterial plaque is the primary cause of gum disease and decay. If this irritation is prolonged, the gums separate from the teeth roots, causing pockets (spaces) to form. As periodontal disease progress, the supporting gum tissue and bone that holds teeth in place deteriorate.
Other symptoms of gum disease include loose teeth, painful chewing, and persistent bad breath. Daily brushing and flossing will prevent most periodontal conditions and cavities. If left untreated periodontal disease can result in bone loss, tooth loss and gum recession.
Why is oral hygiene so important?
Adults over 35 lose more teeth to gum diseases, (periodontal disease) than from cavities. Three out of four adults are affected at some time in their life. Plaque, can accelerate gum disease, it is a sticky colorless film, which forms and sticks on your teeth. With thorough daily brushing and flossing you can remove these germs and bacteria to help prevent periodontal disease. If not carefully removed by daily brushing and flossing, plaque hardens into a rough, porous substance known as calculus (or tartar).
Other important factors affecting the health of your gums include:
- Clenching and grinding teeth
- Poor nutrition
Bacteria found in plaque produces toxins or poisons that irritate the gums, which may cause them to turn red, swell and bleed easily. If this irritation is prolonged, the gums separate from the teeth, causing pockets (spaces) to form. As periodontal diseases progress, the supporting gum tissue and bone that holds teeth in place deteriorate. If left untreated, this leads to tooth loss.
Preventing Gum Disease
The best way to prevent gum disease is effective daily brushing and flossing as well as regular professional examinations and cleanings. Unfortunately, even with the most diligent home dental care, people still can develop some form of periodontal disease. Once this disease starts, professional intervention is necessary to prevent its progress.