Where Does Periodontal Disease Come from?

The American Dental Association recommends brushing at least twice a day, flossing daily, and attending regular dental visits to maintain optimal oral hygiene. By performing these good habits, you can keep cavities at bay as well as gum disease. Gum disease can be anything from a simple gum inflammation to serious damage to the soft tissues and bones that support teeth, which can result in loose or even lost teeth. The two types are known as gingivitis and periodontitis, with the all-encompassing term of periodontal disease. If you suspect you have periodontal disease, it may be time for a visit to a dentist such as to those of Drake Dentistry.

Plaque and Tartar
Both cavities and gum disease begin with the development of a sticky substance known as plaque. Your mouth naturally contains bacteria that love to eat food debris from carbohydrates such as sugar and starches. As the bacteria feast, they release acids. The acid, bacteria, food debris, and your saliva combine to form plaque. Plaque can easily be removed by regular brushing and flossing, but if left long enough, can harden into tartar. Tartar cannot be removed by normal brushing, but can be removed during a professional cleaning from your dentist or dental hygienist.

Periodontal Disease
A buildup of plaque and tartar can lead to gingivitis. Gingivitis is a mild inflammation of the gums, marked by redness, swelling, and bleeding easily. While gingivitis can cause some discomfort, it is usually easily reversed with good oral hygiene habits. If left untreated, however, gingivitis can lead to periodontitis. Periodontitis causes inflammation around the tooth, which causes the gums to begin to pull away from the teeth, developing spaces referred to as pockets. The pockets can become infected, and as your immune system fights the bacteria in the infection and the plaque-causing bacteria spread, releasing their acids below the gum line, the bone and connective tissues holding the teeth begin to break down. Without treatment from a dentist such as those of Drake Dentistry, the bones, tissues, and gums may be destroyed, loosening the teeth and usually resulting in their removal. Signs of periodontitis can include bad breath, red or swollen gums, tender and bleeding gums, painful chewing, loose teeth, sensitivity in the teeth, and a receding gum line. People with periodontitis have a higher risk or developing heart disease, a worsening of diabetes symptoms, and if pregnant, a higher risk of delivering preterm or at a low birth weight.

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