Periodontal (Gum) Disease

Periodontal disease is a progressive disease which begins with mild gum inflammation, known as gingivitis. It is caused by the toxins in plaque which builds up on the teeth. Bacteria in plaque causes an infection in the surrounding tissues, making them reddened, irritated and tender. If untreated, the disease advances to become periodontitis.

Early periodontitis involves an inflammation of periodontal ligaments (tissue attachment of the root of teeth to bone) and pocket development between the teeth and gum. There is mild bone loss but usually only minimal mobility of teeth. As the infection increases, there will be further loss of bone support, greater gum recession and shifting or looseness of the teeth. At its advanced stage, there will be a breakdown of the supportive tissues, deep pocket formation, more severe gum recession (pulling away from the teeth) with a large amount of bone loss and loose, mobile teeth. An often unpleasant aspect of periodontitis is halitosis (bad breath).

Because periodontal disease becomes progressively worse, it is crucial to have bacteria, tartar and calculus removed from the teeth and gums through scaling and root planing and, if indicated, localized antibiotic therapy. To restore gum health, it is imperative that one follows an oral hygiene routine of brushing (with a soft toothbrush) and flossing, at least twice a day.

Dr. Brown’s staff can recommend the best products to use and show you how to brush and floss effectively.

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