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Periodontal Therapy Overview 

Periodontal diseases (or gum disease) are infections that destroy the support of your natural teeth.  There are different types of diseases that require different types of treatment.  The primary cause of gum disease is dental plaque.  Bacteria  in plaque produce toxins and acid that damage and inflame the gums, which causes them to bleed and swell easily.  

If this isn’t treated over time, the gums separate from the teeth, forming pockets or spaces.  As periodontal disease progress, the supporting gum tissue and bone that holds teeth in place deteriorate.  This eventually leads to tooth loss.  Following a daily regimen of properly brushing, flossing, and mouthwash use will prevent most periodontal problems.

How to prevent gum disease (periodontal disease)

Adults lose more teeth to periodontal disease than from cavities.  75% of adults are affected by periodontal disease.  And the best way to prevent the development of this is by properly brushing and flossing, at least twice daily (after your meal).

Periodontal disease and tooth decay are caused by bacteria found in plaque.  Plaque is a colorless film that adheres to your teeth.  Plaque is constantly forming on your teeth every time you eat.  By thoroughly brushing and flossing, you remove this film and help prevent the development of periodontal disease.

If plaque is not removed as soon as possible, then it hardens into a rough, porous substance called calculus (or tartar).  When this occurs, only a dentist will be able to properly remove them with their specialized equipment.  And this is why it’s critical to visit your dentist at least every 3 to 6 months.

Also, even with diligent oral hygiene, some people, especially those who are genetically susceptible, may still develop some degree of periodontal disease.  Once it begins to progress, professional help will be required to treat it.

Other factors that damage your gums include:

  • Smoking
  • Uncontrolled diabetes
  • Chronic stress
  • Clenching and grinding teeth
  • Medication
  • Poor nutrition

This article is intended to promote understanding of and knowledge about general oral health topics. It is not intended to be a substitute for professional advice, diagnosis or treatment. Always seek the advice of your dentist or other qualified healthcare provider with any questions you may have regarding a medical condition or treatment.