Periodontal Maintenance

Samuel E. Cress, DDS has prepared the following information on gums and gum disease.

Adults over 35 lose more teeth to gum disease, (periodontal disease) than from cavities. Three out of four adults are affected at some time in their lives. The best way to prevent cavities and periodontal disease is by good tooth brushing and flossing techniques, performed daily.

Periodontal disease and decay are both caused by bacterial plaque. Plaque is a colorless film which sticks to your teeth at the gum line. Plaque constantly forms on your teeth throughout the day. By thorough daily brushing and flossing, you can remove plaque to help prevent periodontal disease.

Periodontal disease can be accelerated by a number of different factors. However, it is mainly caused by the bacteria found in dental plaque, a sticky colorless film that constantly forms on your teeth throughout the day. If not carefully removed by daily brushing and flossing, plaque hardens into a rough, porous substance known as calculus (or tartar).  Tartar is the precursor to the periodontal disease process and has to be professionally removed by your Preventative Therapists at your routine re-care dental appointments.

Bacteria found in plaque produces toxins or poisons that irritate the gums which may cause them to turn red, swell, and bleed easily. If this irritation is prolonged, the gums separate from the teeth causing pockets (spaces) to form.  As periodontal disease progresses, the supporting gum tissue and bone that hold teeth in place deteriorates, leading to tooth loss.

The best way to prevent gum disease is effective daily brushing and flossing as well as regular professional examinations and cleanings. Unfortunately, even with the most diligent home periodontal maintenance, people can still develop some form of periodontal disease. Once this disease starts, professional intervention is necessary to prevent its progress.

• Smoking
• Diabetes
• Stress
• Clenching and Grinding Teeth
• Medication
• Poor nutrition