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Colonial Dental Group Cosmetic Dentistry Blog - Dooley, Lewis, and Quezada

Monday, October 6, 2008

What is Periodontitis?

Periodontics is a branch of dentistry that treats gum disease. A periodontist completes three post-graduate years of training followed by a residency and the accreditation process.

The tooth roots are anchored in the jawbone. The gums enclose the teeth, helping to protect them from decay. When gum tissue is not cared for with daily brushing and flossing, the bacteria in the mouth spread and multiply, excreting acid waste products which eat into tooth enamel. We call these excretions and the bacteria making them plaque. You can feel it as a rough film on the teeth. When plaque is left there too long, it hardens into tartar, which cannot be brushed or flossed away.

Two stages of gum disease
1. Gingivitis
When tartar is left for too long, it becomes infected, causes redness, swelling, and bleeding of the gums, and you have the first stage of gum disease.

2. Periodontitis
If gingivitis is not corrected by professional cleaning - removing the tartar and clearing bacteria out of the tooth pockets (little areas between the gums and teeth), it will progress to the second stage of gum disease, known as periodontitis.

It may become chronic. The gums recede, enlarging the tiny pockets around each tooth. This creates more space for bacteria to thrive in. They increase their numbers and enlarge the pockets even more. The infection invades the teeth, gums, and jawbone. Since the gums bleed now, the bacteria can enter the bloodstream and travel to other parts of the body, where they can cause heart problems and other infections.

Receding gums allow teeth to loosen and even fall out. Toothache would be rampant for a while, as the tooth nerves are decayed. After they die, the pain will stop, but not the infection. As the gums weaken and shrivel, the tooth can become loose and even fall out.

Prevention is the solution
Adults, children and teenagers are all at risk. If you practice good daily dental hygiene and teach your children to do that too, you will save everyone much pain expense, and dental disaster. Please contact us to set up a consultation, and if you have questions, we will be glad to answer them.

posted by Patti at 8:00 AM


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