Periodontal Disease – A Common Problem

Theresa Porter Periodontal Disease

Periodontal Disease or gum disease, is a big problem in the United States. According to the Center for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC), more than half of adult Americans suffer from the condition. There are varying levels ranging from simple gum inflammation, to more severe forms up to and including tooth loss. Here are things that can be done at home for prevention, prior to coming to see us at Scott J Owens DDS Cosmetic & Family Dentistry. Once the disease sets in, there is a lot that can be done to save your teeth, but the earlier the treatment occurs, the more likely it is that you can be treated successfully. Waiting can lead to costlier or more involved treatment and systemic problems.

Periodontal disease is caused by the presence of bacteria in our mouths. The bacteria combine with mucus and other particles to form a stick layer on our teeth, known as plaque. Brushing and flossing removes some of the plaque. Any plaque not removed turns to tartar which cannot be removed by brushing alone. This must be done here in our office. If the tartar is not removed, it becomes harmful to your teeth and gums.

Gingivitis is the mildest form of this periodontal disease. Farmington Hills and the surrounding areas have been served by our office for many years. If you notice your gums starting to swell or bleed during brushing, it may signal the onset of gingivitis. It can usually be treated by daily brushing and flossing and regular cleanings by a hygienist. There is not generally any tooth or bone loss associated with gingivitis.

Periodontitis is a more severe form of the disease. With periodontitis, the gum starts to pull away from the tooth to create pockets. Bacteria fills the pockets, causing them to become infected. Your body’s immune response to the infection, coupled with bacterial toxins, starts to break down the bone and tissue that holds your teeth in place. If left untreated, the tooth loosens and may need to be removed. Treatment for periodontitis ranges from scaling to root planing and even surgery in some instances. The level of treatment depends on the severity of the disease.

Systemic Problems
Research shows a link between periodontal issues and other systemic medical conditions. Several studies have shown a connection to heart disease, diabetes and rheumatoid arthritis. Although the nature of the connection is still being researched, it is clear that maintaining good dental health eliminates some of the risk of contracting other inflammatory diseases.

Let the professionals at Scott J Owens DDS Cosmetic & Family Dentistry solve your periodontal disease issues. We’re ready to serve your dental needs.

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