Periodontal Disease also known as gum disease is an infection of the tissues
surrounding and supporting the teeth. Gum disease is caused by plaque, a sticky
film of bacteria that constantly forms on the teeth. Theses bacteria create toxins
that can cause damage to the gums. It is a major cause of tooth loss in adults.
Because gum disease is usually painless, you may not know you have it.
Gingivitis is the early stage of gum disease; the gums become red, swollen and bleed
easily. At this stage the disease is still reversible and can usually be eliminated
by seeing your dentist and improving your homecare with flossing and daily brushing.
In the more advanced stages of gum disease, called periodontitis, the gums and bone
that support the teeth can become seriously damaged. The teeth can become loose,
fall out or have to be removed. Unremoved plaque hardens into calculus (tartar)
and continues to build up, the gums recede (pull away) from the teeth and pockets
full of bacteria form between the teeth and gums. If these infected pockets are left
untreated, the gums recede further and destroy the bone that anchors your teeth and
keeps them in place.
The good news is that you can help prevent gum disease by:
- Seeing your dentist regularly for checkups
- Brush at least twice a day
- Use dental floss on a daily basis.
- Eat a well balanced diet from the basic food groups, such as breads, cereals
and grain products, fruits, vegetables, meat, poultry and fish and dairy
products such as milk, cheese and yogurt. Limit between meal snacks.
For more info, visit the following: