Periodontal disease is a progressive ailment suffered, to some extent, by nearly 90% of all people over the age of 35. It is the primary reason for loss of teeth by people over 30. Unfortunately, you may not realize you have periodontal (gum) disease as the signs and symptoms are not always as apparent to you as they are to a dental professional.
Periodontal disease begins when bacteria and their products invade the gum tissue surrounding the teeth. Once this bacteria invasion takes hold, the gums become puffy, sometimes bleed, and gradually lose their "grip" on the teeth they are suppose to protect.
Pockets form where the gum loses its grip. These pockets allow more bacteria to lodge under the gum line out of the reach of a toothbrush. Some of the bacteria produces toxins that attack the bone causing loss of the bone that support the teeth. Without treatment the teeth may become loose and may need to be removed.
Usually this destruction occurs without any accompanying pain and because this destruction occurs beneath the gum line, the gum tissue may appear normal. This explains why people discover too late they have the disease. Only a thorough periodontal examination can reveal if hidden disease is present.
Periodontal disease has also been linked to more serious conditions such as cardiovascular disease, diabetes, and preterm births. Therefore, creating good periodontal health improves your overall well being.