Approximately 75% of American adults have some level of gum disease. Also known as periodontal disease, this disease occurs because of plaque, the sticky, white substance that forms on your teeth. Any plaque left on teeth after brushing and flossing hardens into tarter (also known as calculus), which can irritate and infect gum tissue.
In its mildest form, known as gingivitis, gum tissue is red, swollen, tender, and bleeds easily. The gum tissue and its supporting structures normally fit tight around your teeth. As periodontal disease progresses, the gum tissue pulls away from your teeth, creating pockets. These pockets harbor bacteria that can lead to bone degeneration and tooth loss.
Not only can gum disease ruin your smile and dental health, but it can also impact your total body health. Research has shown that periodontal disease can increase the potential for developing cardiovascular disease and low-weight and pre-term births.
Our hygienist, Kari, will evaluate your gums during regular appointments. If we suspect periodontal disease, we will make appropriate recommendations for periodontal therapy. Often, this includes a therapeutic cleaning and cleanings every 3-4 months. If your periodontal disease is more advanced, we may refer you to a specialist to explore other treatment options. Periodontal disease is a chronic condition and there is no cure. However, the condition can be treated, gums can heal, and we can help you deter the risk of recurrence.