Periodontal Disease, also known as Periodontitis (or simply “gum disease”), is a serious infection of the gums that, if left untreated, can destroy the soft tissues surrounding your teeth, as well as the jaw bone; the very support your teeth require to remain in place. This infection can easily lead to dramatic tooth loss, as well as increase risk or heart attack stroke, or other health issues.

Periodontal Disease is the most common cause of tooth loss in adults

According to the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC), as reported by the American Academy of Periodontology, fully one-half of adults in the US 30 years and older suffer from Periodontitis.

These statistics are disquieting, considering the ease with which periodontal disease can be avoided. All things being equal, daily brushing and flossing within an otherwise healthy mouth will prevent this gum infection in the clear majority of dental patients. On the other hand, poor oral hygiene will almost inevitably lead to Periodontitis.

While brushing twice a day and flossing at least once a day, combined with regular professional dental cleanings, can easily prevent gum disease, once you have periodontal disease, the presence of bone loss, swelling, and infection are nearly impossible to control with simple brushing and flossing. Historically, perio-disease was handled with painful gum and bone surgery. Today, diseased teeth are removed and implants are placed before drastic bone loss occurs. While periodontal disease has many components, there is also a significant genetic component, which can make finding a cure difficult.

The symptoms of gum disease

The symptoms of perio-disease are many, and can be easily confused with “normal” tooth loss due to aging. It must be said that there really is nothing “normal” about tooth loss, even in older patients. If you are experiencing any of the symptoms outlined below, or especially more than one, visit your dental professional as soon as possible.

  • Bad breath that won’t go away
  • Red or swollen gums
  • Tender or bleeding gums
  • Painful chewing
  • Loose teeth
  • Sensitive teeth
  • Receding gums or longer appearing teeth

The doctors and staff at The Colorado Center for Implant and Prosthetic Dentistry are available to help you determine effective solutions to all your dental problems. If you would like more information from your Littleton area Prosthodontist, please call to make an appointment today.

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