Periodontal (gum) disease is insidious. It is a chronic infection of the gums that starts out as plaque, an opaque film on the teeth that hardens to form tartar. As tartar accumulates, it harbors bacteria that attack the soft tissue around the gums. This is the early stage of gum disease known as Gingivitis. Left untreated, Gingivitis becomes Periodontitis which ultimately destroys the tissue surrounding your teeth AND the bone that holds your teeth in place. Except for bad breath and gums that bleed, there are very few early warning signals. The disease advances silently, often without pain, and before you know it, you are losing your teeth and you don't know why.Periodontal disease is a big problem, affecting 1out of 2 American adults over age of 30, approximately 70 million people. If your gums are tender, swollen or bleeding, you may be one of the 70million.
Scientific research has discovered linkage between gum disease and stroke, heart disease, diabetes and other serious conditions. When your gums become diseased, your entire immune system is weakened. Periodontal care doesn't just save your smile, it could save your life.If you think you may have gum disease, don’t wait. Ask your dentist to refer you to a periodontist—a dentist who specializes in the diagnosis and treatment of periodontal disease.
Treatment can be as simple as a scaling and root planing ( deep cleaning) or more complex involving surgical procedures to eliminate chronic infection, rebuild bone , gums or teeth ( implants).