Periodontal Disease

Woman with gum inflammation, closeup
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What is Periodontal Disease?

Healthy gums not only look great – they are essential for good overall oral health. But more than 80% of Americans have a silent disease that can damage the teeth, gum and jawbone.

Periodontal diseases are infections of the gums, which gradually destroy the support of your natural teeth. Typically, periodontal diseases are a result of dental plaque. Bacteria found in dental plaque can produce toxins (poisons) which irritate the gums. They may cause the gum tissue to turn red, swell and bleed easily. If this irritation is prolonged, the gums separate from the teeth and cause spaces (often called pockets).

In addition to releasing harmful bacteria into the mouth, plaque can often harden into a rough, porous substance called dental calculus (tartar). Tartar can form above and below the gum line, and can break down the structures that support the teeth.

If periodontal diseases progresses too long, the supporting gum tissue and bone that holds teeth in place deteriorate – which ultimately leads to tooth loss. The remaining teeth can shift, loosen or fall out, and the supporting bone could be destroyed.

That’s why it’s so important to get periodontal disease treatment as early as possible. The sooner our Atlanta gum doctor team can treat the problem, the less the overall damage will be.

How to Stop Periodontitis

Proper oral examinations can reveal the early signs of gum disease – so its important to go to your regular dentist for checkups on schedule. Oftentimes, you won’t experience any pain or discomfort in the early stages, but your dentist will be able to evaluate the health of your gums. In some cases, you might experience bleeding, redness and swelling along the gum line, but these symptoms aren’t always there.

Read more about preventing periodontal disease and practicing good oral hygiene.

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