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Periodontal Disease

What is Gum Disease?

gum disease x-ray
healthy x-ray
This patient has Periodontitis. Notice the bone deterioration and uneven level of bone.
Healthy gums and bone.

Periodontal disease is one of the leading causes of tooth loss in adults. It's extremely common among adults, and unfortunately, a lot of people don't realize they are suffering with periodontal disease until it has started causing some real problems. A patient can have periodontal disease without showing symptoms, which is why it's important to get those 6 month checkups! So what exactly is it? According to the ADA, periodontal disease is an infection of the tissues that support your teeth, and the diseases (there are various forms and stages) attack just below the gum line in the sulcus, where they cause the attachment of the tooth and its supporting tissues to break down. As the tissues are damaged, the sulcus develops into a pocket: Generally, the more severe the disease, the greater the depth of the pocket.

Here are some general Warning Signs from the ADA that you may be suffering with periodontal disease. If you have one or more of these symptoms, the ADA recommends you see the dentist immediately:

  • Gums that bleed when you brush your teeth
  • Red, swollen or tender gums
  • Gums that have pulled away from the teeth
  • Bad breath that doesn't go away
  • Pus between your teeth and gums
  • Loose teeth
  • A change in the way your teeth fit together when you bite
  • Change in the fit of partial dentures

Stages of Periodontal Disease

Gingivitis: The early stages of periodontal disease.
Some of the symptoms and warning signs: Bleeding or sore, swollen gums, bad breath.

Many patients who catch the disease during this stage can avoid any major treatments or problems, and often times brushing, flossing, and the use of special rinses can help get the gums back to normal. Gingivitis only affects the gums, not the teeth and bones, and is reversible. If you wait too long, however, and let the disease progress to the next stage, there can be problems, and even tooth and bone loss.

Periodontitis: The advanced stage of periodontal disease.

When the disease has progressed to this stage, the teeth and bones are in jeopardy, and this can lead to tooth and bone loss. Dr. Schmidt says the disease causes a rise in inflammation, which he says has been linked to potentially life-threatening conditions like heart disease and strokes.

If you do come in to the office with this stage of the disease, Dr. Schmidt will discuss all of your treatment options. If the tooth does need to be removed because of bone loss and support, Riverbend Dental Center has a number of options to restore your teeth and jaw without anyone ever knowing it's not the real thing. Dental Implants are the most natural way to replace one or more missing teeth, but Dr. Schmidt can discuss all of your options with you during your appointment if extraction is indeed necessary, which include implants, fixed dentures, bridges, and partials.

 
 
 
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© Copyright 2006 - Dental WebSmith, Inc. and Glenn V. Schmidt, DDS, MS. All rights reserved worldwide. Disclaimer: The information provided within is intended to help you better understand dental conditions and procedures. It is not meant to serve as delivery of medical or dental care. If you have specific questions or concerns, contact your health care provider.

 

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© Copyright 2006 - Dental WebSmith, Inc. and Glenn V. Schmidt, DDS, MS. All rights reserved worldwide. Disclaimer: The information provided within is intended to help you better understand dental conditions and procedures. It is not meant to serve as delivery of medical or dental care. If you have specific questions or concerns, contact your health care provider.