What is Periodontal Disease?

stock-25Periodontal disease, or gum disease, is an infection of the gum and bone surrounding the teeth. Periodontal disease is caused by plaque, which is a sticky bacteria that hardens and builds up on the teeth. If the plaque is not properly removed, it can quickly lead to inflammation, tooth loss, and permanent jawbone damage.

Am I at Risk for Gum Disease?

Gum disease is a common problem that affects well over 50% of American adults. Many patients who are suffering from a mild form of periodontal disease have no idea that they have a dental issue that needs treatment.

Gum disease can affect anyone, but the following risk factors are linked to higher rates of gum disease:

  • Smoking or chewing tobacco
  • Some prescription medications
  • Family history of gum disease
  • Diabetes
  • Pregnancy
  • Stress
  • Poor nutrition

Forms of Gum Disease

The mildest stage of gum disease is called gingivitis. If you are suffering from gingivitis, you will notice red, swollen, and bleeding gums. Gingivitis often leads to the more serious stages and consequences, but fortunately, periodontal disease is easy to reverse in this early stage.

More advanced gum disease can manifest itself as chronic periodontitis or aggressive periodontitis. Chronic periodontitis patients notice the slow appearance of pockets and receding gums. Patients with aggressive periodontitis suffer from fast jawbone deterioration, tooth loss, and even higher levels of discomfort.

Preventing and Treating Gum Disease

Doctors Ross and Earl are experienced in preventing and treating gum disease, and they can help you and your loved ones maintain optimal oral health. See your dentists regularly for professional cleanings and gum disease checkups. If one of our doctors notices the early signs of gum disease, they will treat you with effective periodontal therapy.

We offer a deep cleaning service called scaling and root planing. Scaling and root planing can remove the sticky plaque from your teeth and gums that regular cleanings cannot. In some cases, we may recommend antibiotics, pocket reduction, or soft tissue grafts. Dental implants can be a great way for patients with missing teeth to regain their beautiful smiles.

It is best to discover and treat gum disease early. Give us a call to schedule your six-month appointment or your gum disease treatment today!