Periodontal Disease, or gum disease, is always under suspicion in adult dental care. An estimated 75% of Americans have some form of gum disease.
The Mouth-Body Connection
Research continues to reveal connections between oral health and overall body health and well being. Inflammation associated with gum disease has been linked to complications with other chronic inflammatory conditions, such as heart disease, diabetes and even Alzheimer's disease. (www.perio.org)
What causes Periodontal Disease?
Formerly known as Pyorrhea, periodontal disease begins with, you guessed it – harmful oral bacteria. These destructive bodies penetrate under the gum line and cause inflammation as the body tries to fight them off.
- If left undisturbed, the bacterial process continues its work and destroys connective tissue, and eventually bone.
- When bone is destroyed, teeth start to become loose and eventually fall out. Periodontal disease is the most common cause of tooth loss in adults. (American Dental Hygienists' Association, 2010)
In addition to the health risks of periodontal disease, repairing the damage from gum disease can be costly, so we monitor our patients very carefully to help prevent and control this invasive disease.
Common signs of periodontal disease are bleeding and swollen gums, persistent bad breath and gum recession.
- In most cases, periodontal disease does not hurt.
- At your dental checkup, we will measure the space between your teeth and gums. Combined with diagnostic dental xrays, this process will help reveal any abnormal "pockets" - an indication of areas of gum disease in need of treatment. Read more about our Preventive Services.
- If periodontal disease detected early, it can often be managed with non-surgical gum therapy and maintenance visits to promote healing and prevent re-infection.
Specialty Care Available
Our practice Periodontist, Dr. Gregory Miller, works with our general dentists to assist patients with chronic periodontal disease. Dr. Miller can perform surgical treatments such as regenerative procedures and tissue grafts to help periodontal patients restore health to their smile. For your convenience, Dr. Miller is available for Saturday appointments.
Protect Your Health. The key to treatment of periodontal disease is early detection. Contact Us to schedule your complete dental examination and prevent this destructive disease.