The Centers for Disease Control estimate that nearly half of the American population over 30 years old has some degree of periodontal disease. Residual food particles and plaque that are not cleaned away by your daily oral hygiene routine can harden into tartar at the gum line. This continual exposure to bacteria caused gum tissues to inflame.
Gingivitis is the earliest stage of periodontal disease. This usually results in red or inflamed gums that tend bleed easily during brushing and flossing. It’s not uncommon for gingivitis to also cause issues with chronic bad breath.
If hardened tartar is not removed from the gum line, and gingivitis is not resolved, it can develop into the more dangerous form of periodontal disease known as periodontitis. Initially periodontitis will start to cause your gums to recede from the base of your teeth. This creates pockets of infection deep in your gums that can start compromise the roots of your teeth. In time it can even result in a loss of structure in the bones that anchor your teeth.
The chronic inflammation caused by periodontal disease can also negatively affect your immune system. New research has found that this can related to other medical conditions including diabetes, heart disease and certain types of cancer. It’s important to note that while periodontal disease doesn’t cause these conditions, it can impact your treatment options.
If you have questions about periodontitis, or you are concerned that you might have developed gum disease, please feel free to call Republic Dental at 830-268-4447 to explore your treatment options.