Periodontal simply means “the tissue around the teeth.” When the bacteria in plaque is allowed to remain on the teeth and gums, in addition to causing decay, it causes the gums to become diseased. This ranges from mild (gingivitis), to moderate and severe (periodontitis).
Since periodontitis is not painful, problems are often not noticed until after they have persisted for an extended period of time. Problems associated with gum disease:
- “Long” teeth (receding gum lines expose the root portions of your teeth)
- Gum depressions (gaps in between the teeth in the gum tissue)
- Redness and bleeding
- Tooth movement and tooth loss
Periodontal disease does not only compromise your dental health. Because bacteria from infected gums can enter the bloodsteam, studies have shown that periodontal disease can also cause heart disease.
Hence the importance of twice annual cleanings and check-ups. If detected and treated early, gum disease is completely reversible.