eriodontal or Gum Disease is a chronic infection that harms the gums and bones around the teeth. It is the major cause of tooth loss in adults and can lead to even more serious health issues such as cardiovascular (heart) disease, chronic respiratory disease, strokes, pre-term birth, and can aggravate diabetes, pneumonia and other conditions.
The main cause of periodontal disease is plaque; an invisible, sticky bacteria that builds up around the teeth and gums. If plaque is not removed it hardens and forms tartar (calculus) which further irritates the gums causing them to pull away from the teeth. The toxins in plaque can enter the bloodstream, causing a host of serious health problems. Proper oral hygiene such as daily brushing and flossing combined with a preventative cleaning and maintenance program can help prevent the onset of periodontal disease.
If you have advanced periodontal disease (persistent bad breath, bleeding or receding gums, loose or separating teeth, or changes in your bite), the good news is it can be treated and reversed. Depending on the symptoms and progression of your gum disease, Dr. Kay, in partnership with your dentist, may recommend a course of treatment that includes
- dental implants
- crown lengthening
- gum grafting
- bone grafting
- scaling and root planing
- and an ongoing course of periodontal cleaning and maintenance.