Periodontal diseases are infections of the gums and bone which is caused by bacteria in your mouth. These infections destroy the healthy tissue and bone surrounding your teeth.
Estimates say that half of adults age 35+ have some stage of periodontal (gum) disease and this is the leading cause of tooth loss in adults.
Periodontal disease is a chronic infection of the gums caused by plaque (a thin film of bacteria that forms on your teeth) which later changes into tartar. This hard tartar irritates the gums leaving them red and swollen.
Over time, the gums start to pull away from the bone and tooth structure leaving a pocket where the bacteria hide to continue to cause even further damage as the infection destroys the supporting bone.
Initially, Periodontal disease is often painless and goes undetected until the bone loss is so great that teeth become loose and sometimes even fall out on their own or need to be extracted by a dentist.
Early detection and good oral hygiene is the key to preventing or correcting the symptoms of periodontal disease. Routine professional teeth cleanings are an important part of maintaining a healthy mouth and preventing gingivitis from recurring. Advanced stages of Periodontal Disease may require gum surgery, bone grafting or tooth extraction and/or implants.