Periodontal/Gum disease is caused by the accumulation of bacterial plaque and calculus around the gum line. It affects most people at some time during their life.
There are two types of gum disease:
- Gingivitis – early gum disease. This is the inflammation of the gingiva/gums which occurs when dental plaque accumulates around teeth and gums. With proper periodontal therapy (involving thorough cleaning by your dentist/hygienist and a good oral hygiene regime at home), gingivitis is reversible.
- Periodontitis – an advanced form of gum disease that occurs if gingivitis is not treated. Periodontitis affects the covering of the tooth root(cementum) and the fibres that connect the cementum to the bone (periodontal ligament). As the disease progresses, bone is lost around the tooth which may result in loosening of the teeth and eventual tooth loss.
Research has shown that your general health may affect the onset, progression and treatment of periodontal disease and vice versa.
- Diabetes – Periodontal disease can increase blood sugar and complications in diabetic patients. Uncontrolled diabetes may also have an impact on the treatment of periodontal disease.
- Pregnancy – Hormonal changes in pregnancy can significantly affect gum health.
- Heart Disease – Bacteria from gum disease can enter the bloodstream and attach to the fatty deposits in the heart blood vessels causing blood clots that may lead to heart attacks.
- Respiratory disease – Bacteria that grow in the mouth can be inhaled into the lungs causing respiratory diseases such as pneumonia, especially in people with a compromised immune system who have periodontal disease.
How We Can Help You at Dural Dental Practice
We have a thorough knowledge of our patients medical history and general health status. So, we are able to recognize and treat gum disease to help prevent any impact on your general health in a manner tailored to your individual needs.
Like many conditions, early intervention to treat gum diseases can ensure the longevity of your teeth and health. We recommend having your teeth and gums checked and cleaned at least every 6 months. However, if you suffer from gum disease you may need more regular visits so we can help you prevent further problems.