Periodontitis is an infection of the gums, which gradually destroy the support of your natural teeth.
There are numerous disease entities requiring different treatment approaches. Dental plaque is the primary cause of periodontitis in genetically susceptible individuals. Daily brushing and flossing will prevent most periodontal conditions.
Why is oral hygiene so important?
Adults over 35 lose more teeth to periodontitis than from cavities. Three out of four adults are affected at some time in their life. The best way to prevent cavities and periodontal disease is by proper tooth brushing and flossing techniques, performed daily. Periodontal disease and decay are both caused by bacterial plaque. Plaque is a colorless film, which adheres to your teeth at the gum line. Plaque constantly forms on your teeth and, if not carefully removed, hardens into a rough, porous substance known as calculus (tartar). By thorough daily brushing and flossing you can remove this build up and help prevent periodontal disease. Other important factors affecting the health of your gums include:
- Clenching and grinding teeth
- Poor nutrition
Bacteria found in plaque produces toxins that inflame the gums, causing them to turn red, swollen, and bleed easily. If this inflammation is prolonged, the gums separate from the teeth, causing pockets to develop. As the disease progresses, the supporting gum tissue and bone that hold the teeth in place deteriorate. If left untreated, this can lead to tooth loss.
The best way to prevent periodontal disease is effective daily brushing and flossing as well as regular professional examinations and cleanings. Unfortunately, even with the most diligent home care, people still can develop some form of periodontal disease. Once this disease starts, professional intervention is necessary to prevent its progress.