What is Periodontal Services?
Periodontal diseases, also known as gum disease, are some of the most common infections in the United States. In fact, more than 75% of American adults over age 35 have some form of periodontal disease.
Despite the number of people infected with these diseases, most believe they don’t have them. In a recent survey, eight out of ten Americans believed they did not have periodontal diseases, but seven out of ten exhibited one or more symptoms.
Periodontal diseases are painless until their advanced stages. If left untreated, periodontal diseases can result in bad breath; red, swollen and bleeding gums; and, eventually, tooth loss. In fact, periodontal diseases are the leading cause of adult tooth loss.
Despite all these facts, periodontal diseases are also some of the most preventable diseases.
The word “periodontal” literally means ” around the tooth.” Periodontal diseases are bacterial gum infections that destroy the attachment fibers and supporting bone that hold your teeth in your mouth. The main cause of these diseases is bacterial plaque, a sticky, colorless film that constantly forms on your teeth. Daily home oral care, including proper brushing and flossing, is a must to prevent plaque build-up.
If plaque is not removed, it can turn into a hard substance called calculus in less than two days. Calculus is so hard it can only be removed during a professional cleaning. If calculus develops below the gums onto the tooth root, it makes plaque removal more difficult, leaving you at increased risk for periodontal diseases.
Toxins (or poisons) produced by the bacteria in plaque irritate the gums, causing infection. These toxins also can destroy the supporting tissues around the teeth, including the bone. When this happens, gums separate from the teeth, forming pockets that fill with even more plaque and more infection. As the diseases progress, these pockets deepen, more gum tissue and bone are destroyed, and the teeth eventually become loose. If periodontal diseases are not treated, the teeth may need to be removed.
Periodontal diseases can affect one tooth or many teeth. For example, your front teeth may not show signs of periodontal diseases while a tooth in the back of your mouth may become loose due to severe disease progression.