Periodontal Disease

There are many dangers associated with untreated gum disease or Periodontal Disease, which is a more advanced gum disease. Research now shows that other, more serious; diseases can be made worse by untreated gum disease.

“Periodontal” comes from the Greek words meaning “around the tooth”. It is caused by bacterial infections, or plaque, which forms progressively in the gums, bones, and ligaments of the mouth.

In an April 2000 study, The American Heart Association found that Periodontal Disease can cause an increased risk of heart attack, and, encourages physicians to work with Dentists in educating the public on these risks. The study also found other diseases are interrelated with oral health.

Bacterial infections of the mouth are among the most chronic diseases in adults, ages 25-75, creating one of the most common causes of pain, discomfort, and tooth loss in adults. (Compendium Magazine, 10/2000, pg 870).

Other problems associated with Periodontal Disease are Cardiovascular Disease, Atherosclerosis, and Diabetes Mellitus, low birth weight, Osteoporosis, and Osteomystysis, (bone loss in the mouth). New studies also show that estrogen deficiency is a risk factor for gum disease.

Warning Signs and Risk Factors

  • Smoking or chewing tobacco
  • Ill-fitting bridges or dentures
  • Clenching or grinding your teeth
  • Poor diet and nutrition
  • Pregnancy
  • Systemic (system-wide) diseases such as HIV-AIDS or Diabetes

Prevention and Treatment

  • See a Dentist regularly, approximately every six months
  • Brush and floss your teeth daily – even brushing the gums around your teeth
  • Cleaning carefully between teeth to remove plaque

Remember, some people form plaque at a greater rate due to factors such as medication, ongoing disease and treatment, and even genetics. All of which make flossing and brushing even more important! In all cases, with regular Dental care, you may not have to worry about “the dangers of periodontal disease”.