What is Periodontal Disease?
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Periodontal disease can develop as a result of poor plaque control, which is to say, not brushing & flossing properly (or enough), and skipping your routine cleanings with your hygienist.
It is also generally a painless condition, so you would not even know how serious your condition is until it is way too late.
Periodontal disease affects the gums and the underlying jaw bone. There are many factors which cause this disease. The presence of bacteria in plaque plays a major role. Those bad bacteria cause inflammation and swelling of your gums. You would notice bleeding when brushing or flossing. That's your hint! You have gum disease!
Dr. Meyer and his hygienists can help you. Given enough time and neglect, your gums will separate and recede from your teeth ("receding gumline"). Your jaw bone will begin to dissolve. Tooth supporting structures begin to breakdown, as part of your bone and the ligaments that hold your teeth in place are destroyed.
What happens then? You begin to notice looseness or mobility of your teeth. Eventually you will lose teeth!
This disease process is generally not reversible. It's a one-way street. You can stop advancing down that street with proper professional intervention, but you can't turn around. Once your jaw bone has dissolved, it does not grow back.
Advanced cases may require treatment from a gum specialist, called a "periodontist." Dr. Meyer can detect early stages of the disease and prevent further damage. The least expensive and least time consuming strategy is to visit your dental hygienist regularly, along with proper brushing & flossing.
Some of you are thinking, "OK Doc, thanks for the heads up, glad to hear it's a painless process, I'll just get false teeth when my time comes." Let me assure you, there is no dentist who can put anything in your mouth that is better than your own natural healthy teeth. Your teeth, gums, and jaw bone are worth every bit of effort you put into them!