Gum Disease is a bacterial infection of the gum tissue around the teeth. Research has identified more than 700 different species of microbes that can be found in the human mouth. There are three basic types. First, some bacteria are beneficial to us and life cannot be sustained without them. The second and largest type is neither good nor bad but may cause problems if in the wrong area or overgrow. The third type is truly pathologic and can only cause problems. Keeping a healthy balance of microbes in the mouth is a goal of dental wellness. Just like washing hands keeps your skin clean and bacteria under control, brushing and flossing does the same thing for your mouth.
The gum tissue around the tooth is much like a turtleneck sweater around your neck and that collar of tissue needs to be cleaned. When gum disease is present, certain bacteria have become established inside of that collar of tissue and create an infection. These bacteria create endotoxins that attack the gum tissue and cause inflammation. When gums become inflamed, bone under the gum but around the tooth begins to erode causing an even deeper collar of inflamed gum tissue. Early gum disease has few symptoms and is easily treated. However more severe conditions can cause permanent bone loss, loose teeth, bad breath, pain, and swollen gums. This is a more difficult condition to treat and will lead to the loss of teeth if left untreated. The primary cause of tooth loss today is gum disease.
Prevention of gum disease begins with a thorough evaluation, interceptive treatment, and stabilizing maintenance as a part of dental wellness.
The early stages of gum disease can be treated non-surgically. In our office we use safe and painless laser procedures to kill bacteria and reduce inflammation along with thorough but gentle cleaning techniques.
More advanced gum disease may need surgical intervention that can include gum grafting and bone grafting to create a stable and maintainable condition.
Gum disease has been linked to heart disease and heart attack, diabetes, strokes, rheumatoid arthritis, pre-mature births and low birth-rate babies, respiratory disease, kidney disease, and cancer. The health of the mouth is critical to overall physical health!
We care for your health and want to help.