Periodontal (Gum) Disease

Periodontal disease is mankind’s most prevalent disease and is the leading cause of tooth loss along with tooth decay in adults. Nearly 75% of the population has periodontal (gum) disease and once you get it, it doesn’t go away without treatment. Gum disease rarely causes pain and is a silent disease – you can have it and not even know it, however, common symptoms are swollen red gums that may bleed easily along with bad breath. Anyone can get gum disease, but certain people are at greater risk than others. Tobacco use is the most significant risk factor for gum disease and makes it more severe and more difficult to eradicate.

Periodontal disease is a long-term bacterial infection that affects the gums and the bone supporting the teeth. The bacteria aggravate and inflame the gum tissues and if left untreated, the gum tissue and supporting bone are slowly destroyed, leading to the eventual loss of teeth. Gum disease can be divided into two main stages – gingivitis and periodontitis. Gingivitis is usually readily cured through correct oral hygiene techniques and periodontal treatment by your dentist or hygienist, however, if left untreated, it will progress to periodontitis which causes destruction of the bone supporting your teeth. Periodontitis can be stabilized through regular periodontal treatment by your dentist or hygienist, but correct oral hygiene techniques and regular treatment is essential as the disease can reoccur at any time.

The effects of periodontal disease are not just limited to the mouth. We know that an ongoing bacterial infection in your mouth can have far-reaching effects in other parts of your body, as bacteria can enter your bloodstream and spread throughout the body. Gum disease increases the risk of heart disease and stroke, makes the control of blood sugar more difficult in diabetics, and in pregnancy, increases the risk for a pre-term, low birth weight baby.

We can detect gum disease early and prevent or stop its damage, so call the friendly team at Mary River Dental today to look after your oral health and find out if you have gum disease – it’s more important than you may think.

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