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Periodontal Disease

Periodontal disease is an infection of the tissues that support your teeth. Your gum tissue is not attached to the teeth as high as it may seem. There is a very shallow v-shaped crevice called a sulcus between the tooth and gums. Periodontal diseases 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.
 
Periodontal diseases are classified according to the severity of the disease. The two major stages are gingivitis and periodontitis. Gingivitis is a milder and reversible form of periodontal disease that only affects the gums. Gingivitis may lead to more serious, destructive forms of periodontal disease called periodontitis.
 

Some factors increase the risk of developing periodontal disease:

Tobacco smoking or chewing

Systemic diseases such as diabetes

 

Some types of medication such as:

    steroids

    some types of anti-epilepsy drugs

    cancer therapy drugs

    some calcium channel blockers

    oral contraceptives

 

Bridges that no longer fit properly

Crooked teeth

Fillings that have become defective

Pregnancy or use of oral contraceptives

 

Several warning signs that can signal a problem:

    Gums that bleed easily

    Red, swollen, tender gums

    Gums that have pulled away from the teeth

    Persistent bad breath or bad taste

    Permanent teeth that are loose or separating

    Any change in the way your teeth fit together when you bite

    Any change in the fit of partial dentures

     
    It is possible to have periodontal disease and have no warning signs.
     
    That is one reason why regular dental checkups and periodontal examinations are very important. Treatment methods depend upon the type of disease and how far the condition has progressed. Good oral hygiene at home is essential to help keep periodontal disease from becoming more serious or recurring.
     
    You don’t have to lose teeth to periodontal disease.
     
    Brush, clean between your teeth, eat a balanced diet, and schedule regular dental visits for a lifetime of healthy smiles.
     
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