Periodontal disease is an infection of the gums, which will gradually destroy the support of your natural teeth. There are numerous disease entities requiring different treatment approaches. Dental plaque and tartar are the primary causes of gum disease in genetically susceptible individuals. Daily brushing and flossing will help prevent most periodontal conditions, however, frequent professional cleanings are the best tool for stopping the progression of periodontal disease over time.
Why is Oral Hygiene So Important?
Adults over 35 lose more teeth to gum diseases, (periodontal disease) than to cavities. Three out of four adults are affected at some time in their life. The best ways to help prevent cavities and periodontal disease are by good tooth brushing and flossing techniques performed daily.
Periodontal disease and decay are both caused by bacterial plaque. Plaque is a colorless film, which sticks to your teeth at the gum line. Plaque constantly forms on your teeth and it harbors the bacteria that cause tooth decay as well as periodontal disease. Constant removal of this film through brushing and flossing is very important for the long-term health of your teeth. If not removed, the plaque will form into a hard substance called tartar, increasing the chances of your teeth being affected by periodontal disease. By thorough daily brushing and flossing, you can remove these germs and help prevent periodontal disease.
Other Important Factors that Negatively Impact Gum Health
- Clenching and grinding teeth
- Poor nutrition
Periodontal Disease Progression
Bacteria found in plaque produce toxins 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. Once periodontal disease is established, the best way to combat it is through frequent dental cleanings at a dental office, which will remove the tartar and plaque build-up causing the disease.