Gum and Periodontal Disease

Periodontal diseases are infections of the gums, which gradually destroy the support of your natural teeth. Dental plaque is the primary cause of gum disease in genetically susceptible individuals. Daily brushing and flossing will prevent most periodontal conditions.

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 by periodontal disease at some time in their life. The best way to prevent cavities and periodontal disease is by good tooth brushing and flossing techniques, performed daily, and regular dental cleanings with our dental hygienists.

Periodontal disease and decay are both caused by bacterial plaque and can be accelerated by a number of different factors. Plaque is a colorless film that sticks to your teeth at the gum line. Plaque constantly forms on your teeth. By thorough daily brushing and flossing, you can remove these germs and 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).

Bacteria found in plaque produces toxins that irritate the gum tissue, which may cause them to turn red, swell up, and bleed easily. If this irritation is prolonged, the gums separate from the teeth, causing spaces (pockets) to form. As gum disease progresses, the supporting gum tissue and bone that hold the teeth in place deteriorate. If left untreated, this periodontal disease may lead to tooth loss.

The best way to prevent gum disease is effective daily brushing and flossing, as well as professional dental cleanings and regular examinations with our dental hygienist. Unfortunately, even with the most diligent home dental care, people can still develop some form of periodontal disease. Once the disease starts, professional intervention is necessary to prevent its progress.

Other important factors affecting the health of your gums include:

  • Smoking
  • Diabetes
  • Stress
  • Clenching and grinding teeth
  • Medication
  • Poor nutrition

 

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