Periodontal disease is a preventable oral condition that, if left untreated, can lead to gum deterioration and ultimately tooth loss. In fact, periodontal disease is the leading cause of tooth loss among adults over the age of 35. Regular brushing, flossing, and dental check ups can often times prevent or stem the progression of periodontal disease. Additionally, other health factors such as smoking, drinking, diet, medications, and other health conditions all play a part in the progression of periodontal disease.
Periodontal disease, or periodontitis, stems from plaque, a colorless film that sticks to the teeth at the gum line. It’s constantly forming. And if it’s not removed on a regular basis, the bacteria found in plaque build-up will create an infection in the gums, causing them to turn red, swell, become tender, and bleed easily. When the infection is prolonged, the gums will separate from the teeth and pockets will form between them. Once plaque spreads to these pockets, the supporting gum tissue and jawbone will begin to deteriorate.