Periodontal diseases are infections of the gums that gradually destroy the support of your natural teeth. There are numerous disease entities requiring different treatment approaches. Bacteria is the primary cause of gum disease in genetically susceptible individuals. Daily brushing and flossing will prevent most periodontal conditions.
Adults over 35 lose more teeth to gum disease than from cavities.
Why is oral hygiene so important? Adults over 35 lose more teeth to gum disease (periodontal disease) than from cavities. Three out of four adults are affected at some time in their life. The best way to prevent cavities and periodontal disease is by good tooth brushing and flossing techniques, performed daily.
Periodontal disease and decay are both caused by bacterial plaque. Plaque is a film that sticks to your teeth at the gum line and constantly forms on your teeth. By thorough daily brushing and flossing you can remove these germs and help prevent periodontal disease.
Periodontal diseases can be accelerated by a number of different factors. However, it is mainly caused by the bacteria found in dental plaque. If not carefully removed by daily brushing and flossing, plaque hardens into a rough, porous substance known as calculus (or tartar).
Bacteria found in plaque produces toxins that irritate the gums, which may cause them to turn red, swell, and bleed easily. If this irritation is prolonged, the gums separate from the teeth, causing pockets (spaces) to form. As periodontal diseases progress, the gum tissue and bone that holds teeth in place deteriorate. If left untreated, this can lead to tooth loss.
Preventing Gum Disease
The best way to prevent gum disease is effective daily brushing and flossing as well as regular professional examinations and cleanings. Unfortunately, people still can develop some form of periodontal disease even with the most diligent of home care. Once the disease process starts, however, professional intervention is necessary to prevent its progress.
Other important factors affecting the health of your gums include: