Periodontal disease is caused by bacterial growth that causes inflammation in the tissue around your teeth. This inflammation then causes bone loss around your teeth and is not reversible.
Is This Common?
Yes, approximately 64.7 million Americans have periodontal disease. Most of the time this disease is silent, and the individual is unaware they have it until it’s too late and teeth have to be extracted.
What are the Stages?
Periodontal disease has 4 stages
- Gingivitis: This is the earliest form of the disease and the only stage that can be reversed because no bone loss has occurred.
- Symptoms – puffy gums and bleeding when flossing
- Early Periodontitis: This is the start of permanent damage. Radiographic bone loss has now been detected.
- Symptoms – Bleeding when flossing or brushing. Possible tender gum tissue.
- Moderate Periodontitis: More bone loss detected and minor tooth mobility may be noted
- Symptoms – Recession, black triangles, slightly mobile teeth and tender gum tissue
- Severe Periodontitis: Severe bone loss is now noted. Teeth are mobile and some may need to be extracted.
- Symptoms – Root structure visible, possible discomfort when chewing, food packing, mobile teeth, tender gums
Can periodontal disease cause harm to other parts of my body?
Yes. Periodontal disease and the bacteria involved increases your risk for Heart Disease, Dementia, Diabetes, Pneumonia, and Cancer. Early labor and miscarriages are more common in women with periodontal disease as well.
What is the Treatment?
Treatment involves numbing the tissue around your teeth, so it can be thoroughly cleaned and debrided. When the plaque and tartar/calculus is broken up and removed your tissue can heal. This will also stop the progression of bone loss. Treatment often requires two visits along with follow-up and maintenance visits to prevent reoccurrence.
What are the Benefits?
- Prevent Bone loss
- Prevent periodontal infections
- Prevent tooth loss
- Improve systemic health
- Prevent bad breath