Gum disease is an infection of the gums and bone that surround and support our teeth, and a major cause of tooth loss. It is caused by improper cleaning and the build-up bacteria in the pockets between our teeth.
The bacteria affects the periodontal ligaments which hold teeth in place. Early gum disease, known as gingivitis, can be treated with professional cleanings along with proper teeth cleaning at home.
This can usually stop the development of the condition. In advanced or aggressive stages, called periodontitis, gum disease can cause permanent loss of tissue and bone, which in turn causes loosening or the loss of teeth.
Treatment methods depend on how the disease is affecting a particular patient and how far the condition has progressed. Warning signs include swollen, tender, or bleeding gums, bad breath, receding gums, loosening of teeth and shifts or changes in bite.
Sometimes there are no warning signs at all and, since the condition itself is painless, it can often go unnoticed. Regular dental check-ups easily detect this common form of infection and allow Dr. Pham to treat the condition.
Also, while there is no conclusive agreement, it is worth noting that some clinical studies indicate an association between severe gum disease and other health conditions such as stroke and diabetes. In the interest of erring on the side of caution, this is a compelling reason to be vigilant about good dental care at home.
Good habits at home are essential to helping keep gum disease from becoming serious or recurring.
Periodontal Disease: About Periodontal Disease
Periodontal Disease: Scaling