What is periodontal disease?
Periodontal (gum) diseases, such as gingivitis and periodontitis are serious ongoing infections, if left untreated can lead to tooth loss. These chronic diseases affect the gums and supporting bone around the teeth and over time destroys this attachment. Periodontal disease is most often painless and symptomless making it a “silent destroyer” of this supporting tissue. Currently over 50% of Americans have some form of periodontal disease and over 80% of them are unaware that they have it.
Fig 1 (Health)
In health the roots of teeth are supported by bone and support the gums that are pink and firm. Healthy gums enhance the appearance of your smile, and give younger healthier look.
(Early perio dz)
Bacterial plaque, which is a colorless film of diverse groups of bacteria and food particles that attach to teeth at and below the gum line result in swollen, red, and occasionally tender gums. Inflammation is isolated to the soft tissue and no bone loss occurs in this stage of disease.
Fig 3 (Moderate perio dz)
In the early stages of periodontal disease, the body’s immune response also plays a roll in periodontal disease progression. An overly aggressive response to the bacterial plaque results in destruction of the surrounding tissue. Inflammation spreads deeper and bone loss results in pocket formation.
Fig 4 (Advanced perio dz) Later stages result in bleeding, loose, and shifting teeth. These changes result in impaired comfort (sensitive), function (ability to chew), and can adversely affect your health.
Importance of Oral hygiene
The most important factor of success regarding any treatment employed is oral hygiene. The better your oral hygiene is the better your response will be to the treatment will be.
Mouth – Body Connection
Recent research supports what dental professionals have long believed, that infections in the mouth cause trouble in other areas of the body. Not only does periodontal disease lead to bacteria spreading from the mouth to the blood stream, but it also leads to a in increase in inflammatory markers which affect many other areas of the body. Maintaining good oral health and getting corrective periodontal treatment can have benefits beyond treating periodontal disease and preventing bone/tooth loss.
Periodontal disease and your health
Periodontal diseases such as gingivitis and periodontitis can result in dental problems and tooth loss. In addition, these infections can have detrimental effects elsewhere in the body. Recent research has shown that inflammation may link periodontal disease to other chronic inflammatory conditions. These conditions include diabetes, cardiovascular disease and Alzheimer’s disease. Experts agree that treating inflammation may not only improve the patients oral health but also improve the management of other inflammatory