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Periodontal Disease

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Periodontal disease, or gum disease, is an infection of the tissues that surround and support your teeth. It is a major cause of tooth loss in adults. Because gum disease is usually painless, you may not know you have it. Periodontal disease is caused by plaque, the sticky film of bacteria that is constantly forming on our teeth and your body's reaction to that chronic infection.
 
The sooner gum disease is treated, the better the result. The early stage of gum disease is called gingivitis. If you have gingivitis, your gums may become red, swollen and bleed easily. At this stage, the disease is still reversible and can usually be eliminated by a professional cleaning at your dental office, followed by daily brushing and flossing. Advanced gum disease is called periodontitis. Chronic periodontitis can lead to the loss of tissue and bone that support the teeth and it may become more severe over time. At an advanced stage, your teeth will feel loose and start moving around in your mouth. It usually gets worse slowly, but there can be periods of rapid progression.
 
Research between systemic diseases and periodontal diseases is ongoing. Studies indicate that severe gum disease may be associated with several other health conditions such as diabetes or the risk of a stroke or heart disease.  It has also been linked with pregnant women and low birth weight children.
 
It is possible to have gum disease and have no warning signs. That is one reason why regular dental checkups and periodontal examinations are very important.
Examinations at Delmont Dental including a thorough 'gum exam' which includes evaulation of the gingival sulcus (pocket), quality of the tissue, evaluation of bony support on the x-rays, and many other contributing factors. Treatment methods depend upon the type of disease and how far the condition has progressed. Good dental care at home is essential to help keep periodontal disease from becoming more serious or recurring.