Friday, March 8, 2013

What Causes Gum Disease?

Gum disease, also known as periodontal disease, occurs when bacteria builds up along the gum line. This buildup, when left untreated, will start to irritate the gum line, eventually leading to an inflammation reaction. When a person's gums become irritated and inflamed, swelling and bleeding can occur. This further exacerbates the situation, allowing more bacteria to irritate the gum tissue and the existing bacteria to travel deeper below the gum line.

If this condition is left untreated, the bacteria may even travel all the way to the mouth and jaw bone, resulting in demineralization. When demineralization occurs, the bone can actually break down and dissolve, which then leads to bone loss and eventually tooth loss. Once the bone material surrounding a tooth breaks down, the tooth has nothing to support it. Even if the tooth is relatively healthy, it could still fall out due to improper gum care.

As you can see, gum disease is something that starts out as a minor problem, but it can quickly escalate into a major health issue. Almost like a domino effect, where one thing leads to another and so on, untreated periodontal disease can cause significant damage to a person's gums, bone and teeth - usually in that order. To prevent periodontal disease, make a habit of brushing and flossing regularly, as well as visiting your dentist for professional cleanings and check-ups every six months.

If you feel you may have periodontal disease, feel free to call our office at 919-782-0548 to schedule an appointment. We can help put you on the right track to treatment while offering helpful advice for future prevention. Our full service dental office is open Monday through Friday from 8 am to 5 pm. Call or visit us online to schedule an appointment.

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