Periodontal health is a key to good oral health. Periodontal disease is an infection that destroys the gum and bone supporting the teeth. It is the most common cause of tooth loss in adults.
Periodontal (gum) disease is a bacterial infection in the gums and bone that support the teeth. Over 75% of adults over the age 35 have some signs and symptoms of gum disease. Gum disease can lead to loose teeth; shifting bite; and loss of teeth. Bleeding gums allow the bacteria from gum disease to enter the bloodstream, where they can enter the heart, liver, kidneys and other organs. Some research describes the association between heart disease and gum disease to be at least as strong as the linkage of heart disease to smoking, body weight and cholesterol.
Signs of gum disease include:
- Red, puffy gums
- Bleeding gums
- Loose teeth
- Bad taste in the mouth
Pain is only sometimes present in very advanced stages.
Periodontal disease must be treated prior to restoring teeth back to health. Once diagnosed and treated, prevention of periodontal disease includes good oral hygiene practices at home and regular preventive dental visits.