Your mouth is full of bacteria, germs, mucus and debris from the food you eat.
These combine to form a sticky, colorless film on your teeth…called plaque.
Brushing and flossing regularly can help get rid of plaque but plaque that is not removed can form tartar which can only be removed by a dentist or a hygienist.
The longer plaque remains your teeth, the more harmful it becomes.
- Periodontal disease ranges from simple gum inflammation to serious disease that results in major damage to the soft tissue and bone that support the teeth.
- Periodontal disease is common and it is serious.
Bacteria and plaque can cause gingivitis, an inflammation of the gums.
Signs to look for are gums that bleed easily and are tender, swollen and red.
Gingivitis is a mild form of gum disease that does not include any loss of bone or tissue that hold the teeth in place. It is easily treated and can usually be reversed with good dental habits.
If gingivitis is not treated, it can advance to periodontitis, inflammation around the tooth.
In periodontitis, gums pull away from the teeth and form pockets that become infected.
The body’s immune system fights the bacteria as the plaque grows below the gum line.
This natural response to infection starts to break down the connective tissue and bone that hold the teeth in place.
If left untreated, tissue, gums and bone are destroyed. Teeth become loose and eventually have to be removed.
The cause of periodontal disease is most commonly poor oral hygiene. Smokers, pregnant women, people with diabetes, people being treated for cancer and people whose immune system is compromised are also vulnerable.
The earlier it is caught, the easier periodontal infection is to treat.
Here are some things to look for:
- Recessed gums
- A bad taste in your mouth
- Bad breath (halitosis)
- Sensitive teeth
- Bleeding, swollen, red gums
Good dental hygiene is essential to preventing periodontal disease.
The main goal of treatment is to control the infection. The type of treatment will vary, depending on the extent of the gum disease.
Dr. Holbrook specializes in treating periodontal disease.
Call our offices today for a consultation.