Periodontal (gum) disease is a chronic bacterial infection that affects the gums and bone supporting the teeth. The word periodontal literally means 'around the tooth'. Periodontal disease can affect one tooth or many teeth. It begins when the bacteria in plaque (the sticky, colorless film that constantly forms on your teeth) cause the gums to become inflamed.
In the mildest form of the disease, gingivitis, the gums redden, swell and bleed easily. There is usually little or no discomfort. Gingivitis is reversible with professional treatment and good oral home care.
You may be at risk of gum disease if you answer yes to any of the following questions:
- Do your gums ever bleed?
- Are your gums red or puffy?
- Are your teeth loose?
- Have your gums receded, or do your teeth look longer?
- Do you smoke or use tobacco products?
- Have you had any adult teeth extracted?
- Has it been more than 2 years since seeing a dentist?
- Have any of your family members had gum disease?
Maintaining regular dental hygiene visits helps to prevent problems or catch them early if they do occur. Our hygienists, Brenda and Ginny, evaluate your gum health at every dental cleaning appointment. They have been trained in periodontal therapy, and can explain to you how periodontal disease starts, progresses, and can be healed. They also specialize in preventive care, so they can help you keep your teeth for a lifetime.
Call our office today to schedule a cleaning or a personal evaluation.