Periodontal Disease

What is Periodontal Disease?

Periodontal disease causes inflammation that attacks both the soft and hard structures that support teeth. They are ongoing infections in the gum tissue that work to destroy your teeth’s support systems.

Periodontal treatment is required when these structures are adversely affected by disease. Keeping your teeth can be directly related to how well you maintain them, and what kind of restorative work can be done to save damaged teeth. Aside from the desire to keep your mouth healthy on its own merit, a healthy mouth will appear much more attractive. When periodontal disease sets in, gum tissue becomes inflamed and can recede away from the teeth. If the disease is able to progress then tooth supporting bone structures can be damaged and lost causing teeth to loosen, shift or even fall out entirely. Tooth loss not only ruins the aesthetic appeal of your smile but also can have an adverse effect on your ability to speak and communicate properly.

Periodontal disease will have adverse affects on one or more of the periodontal tissues. This includes the gingiva, cementum, periodontal ligament, and the alveolar bone. There are many diseases that attack the tooth supporting structures but the inflammatory lesions caused by plaque are what comprise most of periodontal conditions. There are two categories, periodontitis and gingivitis. Gingivitis is the less severe first stage, and can be stopped before it develops further. If gingivitis is allowed to progress and advance it then develops into periodontitis and becomes more difficult to treat.

A main cause of gingivitis is dental plaque that is allowed to form on the teeth. Plaque is made up mainly of food particles and a variety of bacteria that attach to the teeth underneath the gum line. It is a sticky film with no colour making it easily adhere to teeth. Plaque buildup on teeth is a near constant process even immediately after cleaning. It is not something you stop it’s something you manage with good oral hygiene.

The Bacteria that reside in dental plaque produce toxins that cause irritation, inflammation and even bleeding in the gum tissue. If this goes untreated the gums will eventually free themselves from the teeth creating pockets which can hide more bacteria. If good oral hygiene is not practiced plaque can harden into calculus otherwise known as tartar. This is a rough substance that exist above and underneath the gum line.

If gingivitis is allowed to develop further into periodontitis, the bone and gum tissues that support your teeth and holds them in place degrades. This causes bone loss in the alveolar bone, which means that teeth can become loose and be lost. Periodontitis causes damage through the bacteria it promotes but also from the overreaction of the body’s natural immune response to that bacteria.
Periodontal disease is exceptionally dangerous because it frequently will not display symptoms and will not cause pain. Which means patients are often unaware that they have it, and are less likely to seek treatment early on. 80% of Americans will suffer from it by age 45 and four out of five patients with it are completely unaware that they have it. This is why it is so critical to have a strong dental hygiene routine with brushing, flossing and regular dental appointments.

Martindale Dental provides both general and specialty dentistry under one roof.  For more than 20 years, our dentists have been advocates for their patients oral health care needs. Our dental offices are conveniently located in Toronto, North York, St Catharines, North York, Burlington, Milton East and Milton West, Ontario. We offer convenient before & after work and weekend appointments.