Periodontal disease, or gum disease, is an infection of the teeth and gums, as well as the bone that surrounds the teeth. If left untreated, it causes supporting bone to be lost from around the teeth. Gum disease is the number-one cause of tooth loss in the United States today.
There are three stages to gum disease — gingivitis, periodontitis, and advanced periodontitis.
Plaque, a sticky film of food and bacteria, forms constantly on teeth. If it isn't removed daily, it begins to harden and forms tartar (calculus). In this early stage, before bone loss has occurred, the gums become red and swollen; this is gingivitis.
As the plaque and tartar work their way down below the gum line, the gums begin to separate away from the teeth, forming pockets. Once a pocket has formed, the process accelerates, as new, even more destructive types of bacteria begin to populate the pocket. If the tartar isn't removed by dental professionals, your body's defensive reaction to the infection produces enzymes that cause the loss of supporting bone; this is periodontitis.
Over time, if the gum continues unchecked, this bone loss continues. Eventually, so much bone is lost that some of the teeth begin to become loose. This is advanced periodontitis.
PERIODONTAL DISEASE INCREASES YOUR RISK OF HEART DISEASE
Recent studies have shown that individuals with severe gum disease are four times more likely to suffer from coronary heart disease.
Researchers have discovered that Biofilm plaque bacteria is a chronic infection in your mouth that creates an open doorway for bacteria to enter the bloodstream. These bacteria, called streptococcus sanguis, may cause blood clots that can block your arteries and even trigger a heart attack or stroke. Other studies have shown that biofilm plaque bacteria entering the bloodstream through infected gums may also cause a potentially fatal heart disease called infective endocarditis. This is a bacterial infection which causes the sac around the heart to become inflamed.
HOW YOU CAN REDUCE YOUR RISK?
Frequent (visits vary from every 6, 8 or 12 weeks) gum therapy visits and exams can reduce your risk of heart disease and stroke.
So do your heart a favor! Brush, floss, and visit us more frequently (4-5 times a year for some) for a checkup and cleaning! We offer the latest advances in periodontal/gum treatments such as, microsonic technology, Laser therapy, arestin (local gum antibiotic), anti-microbial rinses, adjunctive co-therapy along with modern cleaning devices for a long and healthy future.