Periodontal gum disease, sounds scary right? Good thing it’s preventable and can be controlled! 3 out of 4 Canadians suffer from some form of periodontal gum disease, which is the leading cause of tooth loss for people over 35. Periodontal diseases range from simple gum inflammation, to serious disease that leads to major damage to the soft tissue and bone that supports your teeth. The worst cases of periodontal disease result in losing teeth. How’s that grill lookin? Lack of oral hygiene and regular dental visits are the main causes of the disease, the longer plaque and tartar stay on your teeth, the more harmful they become. Now we know you’re probably feeling your teeth with your tongue right now trying to feel for any plaque or tartar, no need to be alarmed… Everyone has some sort of build up throughout the day; our mouths are homes for a crazy amount of bacteria! As long as you practice great oral hygiene and see your hygienist every 3-6 months for your check up and cleaning appointments you should be fine. Needless to say if you lack oral hygiene and never step foot in a dental office, you should be worried. For all you people who floss once every 4 months, the blood on your floss are your gums screaming for help. Ever heard of gingivitis? Well that is the first stage of periodontal disease, that build up on your teeth holds bacteria that causes inflammation of your gums; AKA gingivitis. Red, swollen and bleeding gums are the signs of gingivitis. Now keep in mind this is a mild form of gum disease and can be easily maintained by taking better care of your teeth. (Brushing, flossing, mouth rinsing everyday 3 times a day and seeing your dental hygienist frequently). You are probably starting to get bored of this blog post so I will move on to the gory stuff, just after I remind you that gingivitis is a gum disease that doesn’t include any bone loss or damage to your soft tissues.
Now we’re getting to the good stuff; periodontitis. You get periodontitis when you don’t treat your gingivitis, which means you’re in deep sugar honey iced tea. The thing about this disease is that your gums start to pull away from your teeth and cause spaces, referred to in the dental world as “pockets” or “perio pockets” These pockets become easily infected which activates the body’s natural response to infection- start to break down the bone and connective tissue to get rid of the infection. Without strong bone and connective tissue, you can say bye bye to your teeth, they will become loose and eventually have to be pulled out or fall out.. I see dentures in a glass in your future. Take care of your teeth peeps, before you don’t have any.