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Periodontal disease (also known as gum disease) is one of the leading causes of tooth loss among adults. Gum disease can be easily treated if it is diagnosed in the early stages. The signs of gum disease can be subtle and can come on quite quickly and severely.
It is important to notify your dentist if you have any of these following warning signs of gum disease:
- Your gums bleed easily.
- Your gums are very red, tender and / or swollen.
- You can see pus in between your teeth and gums when they are pressed.
- Your gums seem to be pulling away from your teeth.
- You notice a change in your bite or in the way your teeth fit together.
- Your teeth are loose or they are separating.
- The fit of your partials or dentures have changed.
What Causes Periodontal Disease?
Gum disease is caused by plaque remaining around the gumlines of the teeth. The bacteria in plaque produces acids and other toxins that can destroy bone and gum tissue over a period of time. When you eat foods like simple carbohydrates such as sugar, it feeds certain bacteria that promote oral disease such as tooth decay, but the oral bacteria in your mouth also influence whether you’re at risk of tooth decay or not.
Brushing twice a day is not enough to remove plaque from in between the teeth, so it is very important to floss your teeth daily. Thirty-five percent of plaque is left between the teeth after brushing and if you don’t floss, you don’t remove the plaque.
What Treatment do I need for Periodontal Disease?
If plaque is not removed, it will harden into a thick deposit called tartar due to calcium hardening of the dental plaque. If tartar is allowed to remain on the teeth and below the gumline, it can lead to chronic infections and inflammation which often leads to gum disease. The only way to remove tartar is to have your teeth professionally cleaned at a dental office. Our dental professionals perform the necessary cleanings to address periodontal disease routinely, and can tell you what to expect and what the procedure is like.