Periodontal disease is a disease of aging. We all have it in one form or another. It starts in our early 20′s and will progress throughout life. It is caused by the buildup of plaque and tarter which carry a heavy bacterial load. How much plaque and tarter we form varies from individual to individual. Diet and personal hygiene affect the amount of buildup we have, but genetics play the major role in how the disease affects us.

The immune system works hard at keeping the bacteria at bay. The tissue responds by trying to get as much blood in the area as possible, hence the puffy purple gums and bleeding when brushing and flossing. Eventually the bone responds by trying to move away from the tarter, causing bone loss to occur. Once gone, bone never comes back. If gum disease goes on long enough, the teeth become mobile, leading to tooth loss.

One word of caution, “gum disease doesn’t hurt”, but by the time the teeth are loose its too late.

What we hope to do to treat gum disease is to keep it controlled and managed. Periodic teeth cleanings and in some cases, deep cleanings, also called scaling and root planing, are necessary treatments and important in dental health. If gum disease is worked at in conjunction with your dental hygienist, it can be managed very nicely.

Want to know more about periodontal disease or want to set up an appointment for a cleaning? Contact Walden Dentistry’s Chandler, AZ, office at (480) 755-1661.