Periodontal disease, commonly known as "Gum Disease" is becoming the primary cause of tooth loss in the adult population! Contrary to public opinion, healthy gums don’t bleed!! Bleeding gums are a sign of inflammation and many times the first warning sign of periodontal disease (also known as ‘pyorrhea’). It’s very important to take care of your bleeding gums before they get worse and cause advanced periodontal disease, which is the leading cause of tooth loss among adults worldwide.
The collection of bacteria and their by-products is commonly known as plaque. If the plaque remains in the mouth for too long, the minerals from our saliva cause it to harden, forming what is known as calculus or tartar that in turn leads to periodontal disease.
In the early stages, gums may bleed easily and appear red, tender, spongy, slightly swollen and teeth may become sensitive. Periodontal disease may also cause bad breath.
If the bacteria build-up under the gums are allowed to increase, pockets will form and eventually lead to gum recession, destruction of underlying bone, loosening of teeth and ultimately tooth loss!
Certain systemic changes can also increase your chances of getting periodontal disease. These include pregnancy, hormonal changes, psychological stress, certain medications and certain diseases like diabetes. Cancer therapies may also raise the risks of periodontal disease.
Can Periodontal disease be treated?
Because it is difficult to cure advanced forms of the disease the sooner that it is detected the better. Many of you may not even know that the disease is progressing as we speak. Let Dr. Martinez´s staff make a thorough evaluation so they may assist you in making significant steps to stop this progression. It may be as simple as a periodic periodontal cleaning by our exceptional, caring hygienist (Monica, Kim and Cindy). In addition they will give you ideas on how to continue diligent home care that includes brushing, flossing and inform you of other in home therapies.
More advanced progression of the disease may require root planing, currettage and sometimes periodontal surgery. But do not wait until it gets to these advanced stages. Remember our goal is for you to keep your teeth for a life time!