What is Periodontal Disease?

Dental Health

Our teeth tend to stay quite busy. 

Assuming you eat three meals per day, that equals 1095 meals per year (snacking not included). Add that up over the course of your lifetime and that’s a lot of chewing. Thankfully, our teeth are anchored in strong bones that, if cared for properly, will endure for the long haul.

Periodontal disease is a real problem that occurs when the supporting bone structure that support the teeth starts to break down.

There are a few reasons this can happen...

Plaque and tartar play a major role in the development of periodontal disease. If left unchecked, it creates inflammation that causes gingivitis, or inflammation of the gingival tissue. The good news is gingivitis can be reversed with a good brushing routine (removes plaque) and regular professional cleanings (removes tartar).

Bone height is viewed and measured when visiting your dentist. Xrays give an overview of the supporting bone structures, while a periodontal probe is used to measure bone loss in a more accurate way around each tooth.  Typical measurements should be 3mm or less for healthy bone. A measurement of 4mm or more means bone loss (beginning of periodontal disease) has begun.

When Gingivitis Goes Untreated

Reversing gingivitis is critical. If ignored, it can advance to periodontitis. When periodontitis develops bone loss starts, the gums recede following the receding bone, which can cause many complications from sensitivity of teeth to mobility of teeth. Plaque begins to spread and grow below the gum line, harming bone and connective tissue that hold strong, healthy teeth in place. This bone and tissue can break down and is eventually destroyed. 

The biggest risk factor in periodontal disease is smoking, but diabetes, and genetics also play a role.

Early signs of periodontal disease, such as gingivitis, can be reversed.

Have you had your teeth and gums examined lately? The professionals at South University Dental in Fargo can get your smile back on track. Email our office or call (701) 232-8884. One of our friendly team members will happily help you schedule a convenient appointment time.