What is Periodontal (Gum) Disease?
Periodontal disease is an infection of the gums, which will gradually destroy the support of your natural teeth. There are numerous types of periodontal disease, each requiring different treatment approaches. Dental plaque is the primary cause of gum disease in genetically susceptible individuals. Daily brushing and flossing will prevent most periodontal conditions.
Why is oral hygiene so important? A study from the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC) estimated that about half of Americans 30 years or older have some form of periodontal disease. This equals approximately 64.7 million Americans and the prevalence only increases in adults aged 65 and older to 70.1 percent.
Adults over 35 lose more teeth to gum diseases than from cavities. Three out of four adults are affected at some time in their life. The best way to prevent cavities and periodontal disease is by good tooth brushing and flossing techniques, performed daily and routine visits with your dentist.
Meet our Periodontists
Virginia Family Dentistry has three Periodontal Specialists within the practice. Dr. Carl Block, Dr. Danielle McCormack, and Dr. Stephanie Voth work with General Dentists to provide comprehensive care for their patients.
Need to schedule an appointment?
The Virginia Family Dentistry Periodontists practice at the following locations:
- Virginia Family Dentistry Chester
- Virginia Family Dentistry Midlothian-288
- Virginia Family Dentistry Short Pump
- Virginia Family Dentistry Staples Mill
What Causes Periodontal (Gum) Disease?
Periodontal disease and decay are both caused by bacterial plaque. Plaque is a colorless film, which sticks to your teeth at the gumline. Plaque constantly forms on your teeth. By thorough daily brushing and flossing you can remove these germs and help prevent periodontal disease. If not carefully removed by daily brushing and flossing, plaque hardens into a rough, porous substance known as calculus (or tartar).
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 diseases progress, the supporting gum tissue and bone that holds teeth in place deteriorate. If left untreated, it eventually leads to teeth becoming loose and tooth loss.
How to Prevent Periodontal (Gum) Disease
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 dental care, people still can develop some form of periodontal disease. Once this disease starts, professional intervention is necessary to prevent its progress.
- Clenching and grinding teeth
- Poor nutrition
Symptoms of Periodontal (Gum) Disease
The symptoms of gum disease include:
- Halitosis (Bad Breath)
- Red, Swollen, or Bleeding Gums
- Receding Gums causing the teeth to look longer than before
- Tooth Sensitivity
- Loose Teeth
Any of these symptoms may be a sign of a problem, which should be checked by a dentist. If you are experiencing any of these symptoms, please schedule an appointment with the most convenient location to you.