Do you have periodontal disease?

March 11, 2015

Do you know if you are at risk for periodontal disease, also known as gum disease? A new study from the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC) confirms that nearly one out of two U.S. adults age 30 and over, 64.7 million Americans, has periodontal disease.

The study also indicates that prevalence is highest among ethnic minorities, with 63.5% of Hispanic-Americans, 59.1% of African-Americans and 50% of Asian-Americans affected by periodontal disease.

What causes periodontal disease?

Our mouths are full of bacteria and these bacteria constantly form a sticky colorless plaque on your teeth’s surfaces. Brushing and flossing help get rid of plaque however; plaque that is not removed can harden and form tartar. Only a professional cleaning by a dentist or dental hygienist can remove tartar. When plaque and tartar go untreated it will cause inflammation of the gums, also known as gingivitis.

What is gingivitis?

Gingivitis is the mildest form of gum disease. The most common signs of gingivitis are redness, swelling, and bleeding of the gums. This form of gum disease is reversible and treatable.

What is periodontitis?

When gum disease is not treated, it can advance to periodontitis. At this stage your gums will pull away from your teeth and form spaces that have become infected. The bacterial toxins and your body’s natural response to infection will start to break down the bone and connective tissue that holds your teeth in place. If not treated, the bones, gums and tissue that support the teeth will be destroyed. The teeth may eventually become loose and will have to be removed.

How do you know if you have gum disease?

Symptoms of gum disease may include bad breath that won’t go away, red or swollen gums, tender or bleeding gums, painful chewing, loose teeth, sensitive teeth and receding gums or longer appearing teeth. Some people may not notice any symptoms.

Any of these symptoms may be a sign of a serious problem, which should be evaluated by a dental professional.

Advanced DDS offers our patients active periodontal therapy. Our team will remove the plaque and tartar through a deep-cleaning method called scaling and root planning. Scaling helps get rid of the tartar from above and below the gum line. Root planning gets rid of rough spots on the root surface of the teeth where the germs gather and help remove bacteria that contribute to the disease.

 

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