What is gum disease?
Periodontal diseases, better known as gum diseases, range from mild inflammation of the gum tissue to serious disease that ultimately results in damage to the soft tissue and bone that support the teeth, leading to tooth loss.
The mouth is full of bacteria. Bacteria, along with mucus and other particles form a sticky film called “plaque” on teeth. Brushing and flossing can help remove plaque, however, plaque that is not removed hardens and forms tarter. Only professional cleanings can remove tarter.
The longer the plaque and tarter remain on the teeth, they cause inflammation of the gum tissue, called “gingivitis. The gums become red and swollen and may bleed easily. Gingivitis is a mild form of periodontal disease. When gingivitis is not treated, it can lead to advanced stages of gum disease. Gums begin to pull away from the teeth and form spaces, called pockets that become infected. The infection can grown below the gum line and break down the bone and connective tissue the hold the teeth in place. If this is not treated, the bone and gum tissue that support the teeth will be destroyed and the teeth will eventually fall out or have to be removed.
Risk Factors for Periodontal Disease:
- Hormonal changes
- Illnesses such as cancer or AIDS
To listen to a discussion on periodontal disease, click above to listen to the podcast. If you have further questions or would like to have an exam, please call your dentist or BayView Dental Associates. BayView Dental has five dental offices in Sarasota and Bradenton, FL.