Periodontal Disease Treatment in Worcester, MA
Periodontal disease, which is also known as gum disease, is an infection that gradually affects the structures supporting your teeth. It often begins painlessly, with no discernible symptoms. In fact, most patients struggling with periodontal disease don’t even know they have it until their dentist makes the diagnosis.
What Causes Periodontal Disease?
Periodontal disease is caused in part by bacteria. When harmful bacteria collect on the surfaces of teeth, a colorless film called plaque begins to form. If bacterial plaque isn’t removed through brushing, flossing, and routine dental cleanings, an infection will develop. Plaque can quickly combine with minerals and salts in your mouth to form a harder substances called tartar or calculus. Tartar is too tough to be removed with brushing and flossing at home; it must be treated by a dental professional.
What Is Periodontitis?
In addition to spawning plaque and tartar, the bacteria in our mouths produce toxins that trigger an immune response in the gum tissue. Gums may appear red or swollen, and bleed when you brush. If periodontal disease is treated early, it’s reversible. If it’s not treated early, bacterial toxins can advance over the surfaces of teeth to affect the bone beneath. This advanced, destructive form of periodontal disease is called periodontitis.
Advanced periodontitis can cause teeth to feel loose and eventually cause tooth loss. In fact, periodontal disease is responsible for more cases of tooth loss than decay.
Contributing factors that also affect your gum health include:
- Nutrition and medications
- Teeth grinding or clenching
- Family History
Recent data has also found that periodontal disease may put you at risk for various systemic conditions, including:
- Heart disease
- Respiratory disease
- Premature delivery or low birth weight pregnancy