Seventy-five to eighty percent of the adult population is affected by some degree of periodontal disease (i.e. gum disease). This disease often goes undetected by people because it usually does not cause pain until it becomes very advanced. It is very important to realize that gum disease is a bacterial infection that cannot be cured
. We can only work to control
the disease. Our goal is to reduce inflammation and to prevent any further destruction of the supporting tissues of the teeth (i.e. gum tissues and bone) by removing the bacterial plaque that has invaded below the gumline. Routine or simple cleanings take place above the gumline and do not address or treat problems below the gums.
Current research has found that the most common strain of bacteria in dental plaque can cause potentially fatal blood clots when that bacteria escapes into the bloodstream via bleeding gums. Many systemic illnesses have been linked to gum disease. Heart disease, heart attacks, stroke, diabetes, lung infections, gastric ulcers, weakened immune system that can slow wound healing as well as increased risk of premature or low-birth weight infants have all been shown to occur at a higher incidence in those with gum disease.
Regular dental exams and cleanings as well as diligent brushing and flossing is necessary to help keep gum disease in check.