What is periodontal disease?
Periodontal disease is an infection in the gums and bone surrounding teeth. Periodontal disease is caused by bacteria getting deep under your gum tissue to the point that it is impossible to completely clean them out at home. Over time periodontal disease leads to destruction of the bone around your teeth which can cause teeth to become loose and fall out.
How do I know if I have periodontal disease?
Some symptoms of periodontal disease that you may notice at home are red, swollen, bleeding or tender gums, tooth sensitivity, gums that are receding away from your teeth, bad breath and loose or shifting teeth. At your first visit your hygienist and doctor will perform a gum exam where they measure the depth of gum tissue around your teeth and look for signs of infection or inflammation. The results of this exam will allow them to diagnose the state of your periodontal tissues and determine if you have periodontal disease.
Does periodontal disease only affect my teeth?
Research has shown that having periodontal disease that is untreated increases your risk for many other health consequences, including being: • 93% more likely to be at high risk for diabetes
• 62% increased risk for pancreatic cancer
• 24-35% more likely to develop plaque blockages in your heart
• 4.5 times more likely to have a stroke
• 2.6 times more likely to develop Alzheimer’s disease
Can periodontal disease be cured?
Periodontal disease is similar to other chronic diseases, like diabetes, in that it can never be cured. However, with regular visits to your dentist periodontal disease can be treated and stabilized allowing you to maintain health teeth and gums for throughout your lifetime.
Where can I learn more about periodontal disease?
If you would like to learn more about Invisalign®, we recommend: • Center for Disease Control & Prevention — Periodontal Disease • Perio.org — Types of Gum Disease • Mayo Clinic — Periodontitis: Symptoms & Causes • ADA Mouth Healthy — Gum Disease • Colgate Information Center — Periodontal Disease: Causes and Prevention