Periodontal Disease is the major cause of about 70% of adult tooth loss, affecting three out of four persons at some point in life. The main cause of gum disease is bacterial plaque, a sticky, colorless film that constantly forms on your teeth. If not removed, it hardens into a rough, porous deposit called calculus, or tartar. The bacteria in the plaque irritate the gums and can make them red, tender, swollen and more likely to bleed easily. As the disease progresses, the toxins destroy the supporting tissues around the teeth, forming pockets. Bone supporting the teeth may be permanently damaged. Unless treated, the infection can cause teeth to become loose and eventually lost.
Periodontists are dentists that specialize in the diagnosis, prevention and treatment of periodontal disease and in the planning, placement and maintenance of dental implants.
Dr Hoppin has had 3 years extensive advanced training in the treatment of periodontal disease, in addition to dental school. As specialists, periodontist like Dr. Hoppin, devote their time, energy and skill to helping people who need periodontal treatment. Your general dentist or dental hygienist is usually the ones to refer you to Dr. Hoppin.
Factors that might contribute to Periodontal Disease:
- Poor dental hygiene
- Poorly contoured fillings or crowns
- Chewing tobacco
- High levels of Stress
- Pregnancy and Puberty
- Downs Syndrome
- Medications: steroids, oral contraceptives and blood pressure medications
- Clenching or Grinding your teeth
- Poor Nutrition
- Systemic Diseases
Signs of Periodontal Disease:
- Bleeding gums during brushing
- Red, swollen or tender gums
- Gums that have pulled away from the teeth
- Persistent bad breath
- Pus between the teeth and gums (leaving a bad taste)
- Loose or separating teeth
- A change in the way your teeth fit together when you bite
- A change in the fit of partial dentures
The existence of bone destruction under the gums cannot be visually detected. Periodontal Disease can be prevented with daily brushing and flossing along with routine periodontal visits to our office. Daily cleaning will help keep calculus formation to a minimum, but it won't completely prevent it. Remember, good oral hygiene and visits to the periodontal office are the keys to preventing periodontal disease and maintaining a healthy mouth. You may have periodontal disease and not have any of the above symptoms. Most people don't experience pain with periodontal disease!
Benefits of periodontal treatment include fresh breath, a more youthful appearance, the ability to chew your food more easily and, most importantly, healthy gums that are free from infection. Teeth were meant to last a lifetime, if you take care of them!