What is Periodontal Disease?
To provide you with a better understanding of periodontics, we have provided the following multimedia presentation. Many common questions pertaining to periodontics are discussed.
Periodontal diseases are infections of the gums, which gradually destroy the support of your natural teeth. Dental plaque is the primary cause of gum disease in genetically susceptible individuals. Bacteria found in plaque produce toxins or poisons, which irritate the gums. They may cause them to turn red, swell and bleed easily.
If this irritation is prolonged, the gums separate from the teeth, causing pockets (spaces) to form. Plaque can also harden into a rough, porous substance known as calculus (or tartar). This can occur both above and below the gum line. As periodontal diseases progress, the supporting gum tissue and bone that holds teeth in place deteriorate.
If left untreated, this leads to tooth loss. However, don’t be fooled. Pain is usually not associated with periodontal disease until the more advanced stages. A startling fact is that periodontal disease damages the teeth, gum, and jawbone of more than 80% of Americans by age 45.