Did you know that in 2001 the Guinness Book of World Records named Periodontal Disease the #1 disease affecting Mankind? If this is the case, what is it? Periodontal is a broad term, used to describe various diseases that affect the gums, bone and surrounding structures of the teeth. The most common types are gingivitis and periodontitisGingivitis causes bleeding and reddening of the gums. It is inflammation of the gum tissue. This happens when bacteria increases causing plaque to form on the teeth. An accumulation of plaque and tartar are the beginning stages of periodontal diseases. Tartar is a long standing plaque that has now absorbed calcium on the tooth surface. Periodontitis is when the bone and connective tissue have been severely damaged. The bone and tissue support the teeth, so when they become damaged, the teeth start to become loose and shift.

The warning signs and symptoms are-

* Bleeding Gums

* Red, Tender, Puffy or Swollen gums

* Pain or Tenderness in the gums

* Itchy sensation

* Teeth that are loose or shifting

* Constant bad breath or taste

* Changes in your bite

* Changes in the fit of your oral appliance (i.e. partial denture)

* Gums that are pulling away from the teeth (i.e recession)

The best way to prevent Periodontal Disease is to have good oral hygiene and visit your dentist regularly. Eating a balanced diet to supply nutrients for good health is another great way to help prevent Periodontal Disease. Be sure you speak with your hygieniest regarding the proper use of your toothbrush and flossing.

If left untreated, Periodontal Disease can lead to tooth loss. Research indicates that this also may contribute to diabetes, respiratory diseases, heart attack, stroke or even be associated with premature childbirth.

How do you know if you have Periodontal Disease, and if you do, what is the treatment?

First, an evaluation is done using a peiodontal probe to measure the depth of space between the teeth and gums. Xrays are also taken to see whether the bone is damaged. Depending on the disease progession, the following treatments are used-

* More frequent cleaning intervals

* Scaling is done to scrape off tartar and plaque from the tooth’s crowns and roots.

* Root planning is done to smooth rough surfaces of the root and allow the gums to heal

* Surgery may be needed in certain cases to properly treat the disease.

Early detection is important in the treatment of Periodontal Disease. In addition, you keep dental costs down by preventing further destruction. If you have any questions on Periodontal Disease, its progression and treatment, please call our office. (269)-349-7393


Rosewood Dental, PLC