Gum Diseases

Do You Suffer From Periodontal Disease?

Current research has shown that you may be at increased risk of developing coronary heart disease and stroke if you suffer from periodontal disease. Researchers have also discovered that women with periodontal disease are seven times more likely to deliver pre-perm, low birth weight babies than women with healthy gums.

Periodontal disease, also called gum disease is an infection of the teeth, gums and the ligaments and bone that surround your teeth. Gums infected with periodontal disease are toxic reservoirs of disease-causing bacteria. The bacteria accumulate on the root surface of the teeth, causing pockets of infection to form. The bacteria in these pockets then multiply, resulting in tender, red, and swollen gums that bleed when you brush or floss. Bleeding gums can create an opening that allows harmful bacteria in your mouth to enter your bloodstream. Severe periodontal disease can be compared to nine-square-inch open wound around your teeth, offering plenty of opportunities for harmful bacteria to enter your blood. Once in your bloodstream this bacteria has been linked to the formation of blood clots that can block your arteries and even trigger a heart attack. These clots also cause fat-like substances to build up in the carotid arteries in your neck. If these fat deposits break apart and are carried away in your bloodstream, they can lodge in your brain, block a blood vessel, and cause a stroke.

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The main cause of periodontal disease is the accumulation of plaque. Plaque is the sticky film of food and bacteria that forms constantly on your teeth. If all of the plaque is not removed each day, it builds up and mineralizes to become tartar, also called calculus. If tartar is not removed, it begins to accumulate on the root surfaces. Bacteria that cause periodontal disease thrive in tartar where they produce toxins. It is these toxins, combined with your body’s response to them, that destroy bone around your teeth and lead to tooth loss. Professional help is required to remove tartar, because there is no way to remove it at home. A toothbrush or floss will not even budge it.

Your dentist along with the hygienist can perform a comprehensive oral examination to determine if you have periodontal disease. In office therapies for your condition can be performed along with helping you create a suitable at-home oral hygiene routine.

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