Periodontal Disease

What if someone told you "Dental Neglect" could lead to a heart attack!!!

Well, someone is telling you, it’s me. And that’s not all it can lead to. There’s mounting evidence that gum disease, and the resulting infection, can cause a whole host of SERIOUS health problems.

If you’re putting off dental treatment because of financial reasons, a busy schedule or negative past experiences, you are putting your oral and overall health in jeopardy!!!  It’s that simple.

You know, often when patients come in for an exam, we find they don’t need any dental work at all! You may just need some “brushing up” on effective home care. It’s a quick painless way to prevent future problems and SAVE THOUSANDS of DOLLARS in dental bills.

Gum Disease

Gum disease (also called periodontal disease) is an infection of the tissues surrounding and supporting the teeth. It is a major cause of tooth loss in adults. In fact, after age 35, about three out of four adults are affected by some form of gum disease.

Gum disease is caused by plaque, a sticky film of bacteria that constantly forms on the teeth. These bacteria create toxins that can damage the gums.

In the early stage of gum disease, called gingivitis, the gums can become red, swollen and bleed easily. At this stage, the disease is still reversible and can usually be eliminated by daily brushing and flossing.

Because gum disease is usually painless, however, you may not know you have it. In the more advanced stages of gum disease, called periodontitis, the gums and bone that support the teeth can become seriously damaged. The teeth can become loose, fall out or have to be removed by a dentist.

Signs and Symptoms

The following chart provides you with healthy gums and the progression of gingivitis, early signs of periodontitis, moderate periodontitis and advanced periodontitis. If you notice any of the following signs of gum disease, see your dentist immediately:

  • Gums that bleed when you brush your teeth.
  • Red, swollen, tender gums or gums that have pulled away from the teeth.
  • Bad breath that doesn't go away.
  • Pus between your teeth and gums.
  • Loose teeth.
  • A change in the way your teeth fit when you bite.
  • A change in the fit of partial dentures.

 

Signs & Symptoms

Healthy

  • Gums have healthy pink color
  • Gum line hugs teeth tightly
  • No bleeding

 

Gingivitis

  • Gums bleed easily when you brush or when probed gently during examination
  • Gums are inflamed and sensitive to touch
  • Possible bad breath and bad taste
  • Gums between teeth may look bluish-red in color

 

Early Periodontitis

  • Gums may begin to pull away from the teeth
  • Bleeding, puffiness and inflammation more  pronounced
  • Bad breath, bad taste
  • Slight loss of bone, horizontally on x-ray

 

Moderate Periodontitis

  • Gum boils or abscesses may develop
  • Teeth look longer as gums begin to recede
  • Front teeth may begin to drift, showing  spaces
  • Bad breath, bad taste
  • Both horizontal and angular bone loss on x- ray
  • Pockets between teeth and gum range from  4-6mm deep

 

Advanced Periodontitis

  • Teeth may become mobile or loose
  • Bad breath, bad taste are constant
  • Roots may be exposed and are sensitive to hot and cold
  • Severe horizontal & angular bone loss on x- ray
  • Pockets between teeth and gum now in  excess of 6mm deep