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January 17 2011

Facts You Need to Know About Periodontal Disease

What is the definition of periodontal disease and how do you know if you have it? Periodontal disease is a condition of the mouth where bacteria grows under plaque and tartar builds up on a person’s teeth. This bacteria will slowly works it’s way down the teeth. If left to itself, it will eventually migrate below the gum line and attack the tooth root. This will kill the tooth root and after some time, the tooth will fall out.

If you experience bleeding of the gums when brushing your teeth or notice excessive redness in your gums, then it’s possible you might have a case of periodontal disease. The first stage of the disease is called gingivitis. If a person neglects regular teeth cleaning, it most likely will turn into a case of periodontal disease.

Won’t brushing and flossing regularly prevent this? No, it’s not enough. This will help prevent cavities,eliminate the plaque which builds up on your teeth, and keep your teeth a bright white. The only way to avoid periodontal disease is to have your teeth cleaned by a dental hygienist at least every six months. Your hygienist, who works out of a dentists office, will actually scrape off the tartar and removes the bacteria hiding under it. Brushing alone will not remove the tartar and the bacteria. Only thorough scraping and cleaning will remove the tartar.

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When the bacteria moves below the gums it creates pockets in your gums. This is why your teeth bleed during brushing. The deeper these pockets, the deeper and more serious the bacterial infection. Severe cases of periodontal disease require deep cleaning and sometimes oral surgery, where the periodontist actually has to cut and flap the gums back,scrape off the tartar and bacteria, and stitch the gums back into place. This can be quite expensive and somewhat painful, however with today’s methods, techniques, and pain control it’s not unbearable.

Having bacteria attack your teeth below the gum line effects more than your mouth. Studies have shown that our entire bodies are negatively impacted by all that unchecked bacteria. It affects your brain, heart, and other important organs.  

The best way to avoid all this is to brush and floss regularly AND have your teeth cleaned at least every six  months. Periodontal disease is no fun and you can lose all your teeth if you don’t treat it properly. Teeth cleaning isn’t just to give you a bright white smile. It’s to help you keep your teeth for your entire life. So make yourself a promise to have your teeth cleaned on a regular basis. Call your local dentists office and make an appointment.