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David H. Spring, DMD MAGD
Gentle Dentistry in Dallas, Pa
Creating Beautiful Healthy Smiles

Periodontal Disease

The word periodontal means “around the tooth”.  Periodontal disease attacks the gums and the bone that support the teeth.  Plaque is a sticky film of food debris and bacteria.  If plaque is not removed, it can turn into calculus (tartar).  When plaque and calculus are not removed, they begin to destroy the gums and bone.  Periodontal disease is characterized by red, swollen, and bleeding gums.

Four out of five people have periodontal disease and don’t know it!  Most people are not aware of it because the disease is usually painless in the early stages.

Not only is it the number one reason for tooth loss, research suggests that there may be a link between periodontal disease and other diseases, such as, stroke, bacterial pneumonia, diabetes, cardiovascular disease, and low birth weight during pregnancy.  Researchers are determining if inflammation and bacteria associated with periodontal disease affects these systemic diseases and conditions.  Smoking also greatly increases the risk of periodontal disease.

Good oral hygiene, a balanced diet, and regular dental visits can help reduce your risk of developing periodontal disease.

Signs and symptoms of periodontal disease:

  • Bleeding gums – Gums should never bleed, even when you brush vigorously or use dental floss.
  • Loose teeth – Caused by the loss of bone that support the teeth.
  • New spacing between teeth – Caused by bone loss.
  • Persistent bad breath – Caused by bacteria in the mouth and around the teeth and gums.
  • Pus around the teeth and gums – A sign that there is an infection present.
  • Receding gums – Loss of soft tissue and bone around  the teeth.
  • Red and puffy gums – Gums should never be red or swollen.  This is evidence of inflammation.
  • Tenderness or Discomfort – Plaque, calculus, and bacteria irritate the gums and teeth.

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