According to the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention, 47 percent of adults aged 30 and older have some form of periodontal disease; that rises to about 70 percent of adults over age 65. Gum diseases are linked to overall health as well as oral health, so it is vital to address them.
How Does Periodontal Disease Start?
Our mouths contain various types of bacteria. They can help sanitize the mouth and break down food particles; but too much can lead to periodontal disease, also known as gum disease. This can be dangerous to oral health because it not only attacks the gums; it can affect the teeth and jaw.
When bacteria collect in the mouth, they create a gummy, colorless substance known as plaque that sticks to your teeth. If the plaque is not removed during brushing and flossing, the particles can harden and turn into tartar. Over time, plaque and tartar become more difficult to remove at home. Therefore, a professional cleaning on a regular schedule can help prevent periodontal disease as well as tooth decay.
Why Treat Periodontal Disease Early
The longer the plaque and tartar remain on the teeth, the more harm they can cause your overall oral health. Eventually, they will inflame gum tissue, a condition known as gingivitis. While this is the mildest form of periodontal disease, it can progress to affect the soft tissue (gums) and the tooth. If it is not addressed, this condition can cause teeth to loosen or fall out. Periodontal disease is broken up into four stages: gingivitis, slight periodontal disease, moderate periodontal disease, and advanced periodontal disease.
What the Latest Gum Disease Research Shows Us
Having periodontal disease can affect your overall bodily health. Many studies show connections between gum disease, diabetes, heart disease, rheumatoid arthritis (RA) and dementia. Some studies have found a link between gum health and osteoporosis. This progressive bone-thinning disease, most common in small white and Asian women, can weaken jaw bones, making the effects of periodontal disease more pronounced.
Our doctor has solutions aimed at helping you prevent and treat the underlying causes of gum disease. Routine cleanings and periodontal screenings go a long way toward preventing gum disease and stopping its progression. If you have sore, red, or bleeding gums, make an appointment as soon as possible.
We offer targeted treatments that include cleaning the pockets around teeth to prevent damage to surrounding bone. In some cases, antibiotic therapy can be used. You will work with our doctor to find the best course of treatment for you.