About 80% of American adults have some form of gum disease (gingivitis and periodontitis). Let's review the more serious disease, periodontitis.
Periodontitis is a disease of the gums and bone around teeth. When plaque accumulates along the gum line, the gums get inflamed and red. This is called gingivitis. If the plaque does not get removed, the condition can progress to periodontitis.
Plaque and calculus (hardened plaque) harbor bacteria that result in inflammation and destruction of the bone and tissues that attach to teeth. If the disease progresses enough the teeth will have no support and become mobile or fall out.
Periodontal disease is associated with higher inflammation levels all over the body. Diabetes and cardiovascular disease are especially related to periodontitis.
We use scaling and root planing (deep clean), lasers, medications, and surgery to treat periodontitis. Most importantly, patients must maintain excellent home care and visit us for your periodic cleanings.
This information was provided in part by the Academy of General Dentistry. Dr. Gary Pearl is an Academy of General Dentistry Master.