Richmond, VA

Periodontal or Gum Disease

Periodontal disease is a bacterial infection that destroys gum tissue and supporting bones around the teeth. Left untreated, periodontal disease can lead to tooth loss. Periodontal or gum disease can also affect your entire body.

Listed below are other health problems associated with poor oral health:

  • Increased chance of a stroke
  • Respiratory infections caused by inhaling oral bacteria
  • Heart disease caused by bacteria in your blood
  • Severe osteoporosis (bone loss) especially in post- menopausal women
  • Uncontrolled diabetes can lead to overgrowth of bacteria
  • Preterm or low birthweight babies can be affected by the oral bacteria that is present

Periodontal (gum) disease is the main reason adults lose their teeth. It is a preventable disease. Just because you get older doesn’t mean you have to lose your teeth. Once plaque, which is bacteria and mucus, sticks on your teeth long enough it changes to tartar or calculus. Calculus must be removed by a dentist or dental hygienist. Brushing with an electric toothbrush makes doing a good job easier. You need to brush 2 times per day for at least 2 minutes. The average that most people brush is 15 seconds! Either flossing or using the Water-Pik water flosser removes the plaque in between your teeth. When you are not flossing, you leave 20% of the plaque behind. Rinsing with Listerine afterwards helps to kill the remaining bacteria. You need to rinse for 30 seconds and use 2 teaspoons of Listerine for it to be most effective.

Risk factors are:

  • Smoking
  • Diabetes
  • Medications
  • Hormonal changes in girls/women
  • Genetic susceptibility

If periodontal disease is not treated you will lose bone and connective tissue around your teeth and eventually lose your teeth. Tooth loss usually starts with teeth in the back ,then lower front teeth and then upper front teeth.

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