Periodontal disease is a bacterial infection that destroys the support and structure of your teeth. Once it destroys the gums it moves on to the root of your tooth and then the bone that surrounds the teeth. Periodontal disease has many causes including poor oral hygiene, pregnancy, puberty, genetics, medications, stress, poor eating habits, clenching and grinding, crooked or misaligned teeth, diabetes, chewing tobacco and smoking. First signs are bleeding when you brush or floss, bad breath, soreness and swelling in your gums and then eventually you may notice more food getting stuck in between your teeth, gum recession, larger black spaces or triangles between your teeth and eventually loose teeth.
During your exam, our trained hygienist will take some measurements of your gums which she might call periodontal charting or pocket measurements. This tells us if you just have swollen gums (gingivitis) or signs of bone loss (periodontal disease).
A healthy reading would be in the 1-3 mm. 2-4mm pockets with bleeding during measurements can be categorized as gingivitis or early periodontitis. 4-5mm pockets is considerate moderate periodontitis. 6mm and above is considered advance periodontitis. Using the measurements taken, appearance of your gums, and the overall bone levels seen on the x-ray, the dentist and hygienist will diagnose your periodontal status and discuss the hygiene recommendations.
Periodontal disease is not just about your oral health, but your overall health as well. The bacteria in your mouth are passed on in blood vessels and throughout your body. There is a direct connection between periodontal disease and your overall health. Periodontal disease increases risk of heart attack by 25%, strokes by a factor of 10 and makes it harder to control diabetes. It can also cause digestive disorders. People with untreated gum disease spend 25% more in health bills in their lifetime!
When you hear that you need to have a deep periodontal cleaning, you are not alone. According to the CDC almost half of Americans 30 years and older have some form of gum disease. Once bone is lost, you can not grow it back. Call True Dental in Grapevine today if you have any signs, symptoms or concerns of periodontal disease. We want to help you catch it early.