Gum disease (periodontal disease) is the leading cause of tooth-loss in adults. It’s not one of those things you can blame on that yucky burger you had at a questionable restaurant last week. And it doesn’t just strike you out of the blue like a common cold, either…
Just what is gum disease? Understanding it’s cause is the key to preventing it.
Gum Disease is a What?
Periodontitis means inflammation of the tissues supporting teeth. This includes the gums and ligaments that cushion and anchor teeth into your bone. When these get inflamed, they break down, and your teeth lose that support.
This inflammation is your body’ response to the presence of aggressive bacteria.
Yes, gum disease is a bacterial infection.
Bacteria thrive in cozy dark pockets in the gums around teeth. They release substances that irritate the gums, and the gums in turn release compounds that break down tissue.
How do plaque and tartar figure in?
Plaque is made up of bacteria. Some plaque is more dangerous than others, with a higher number of destructive bacteria. Calculus (tartar) is calcified plaque. Although not harmful in itself, it does harbor harmful bacteria. If calculus forms on a tooth root, the infection can extend farther below the gum line.
Some existing conditions and lifestyle choices can increase your chances of getting gum disease. Several of these include:
As you might have noticed, some of these factors are beyond anybody’s control. But others can be prevented!
If you wonder how the above conditions relate to your current gum health, then contact your dentist for a periodontal health assessment to assess your risk for the disease.
Posted on behalf of:
Smile Avenue Family Dentistry
9212 Fry Rd #120
Cypress, TX 77433
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