Periodontal refers to the structures that surround and support the teeth, including the gums, periodontal ligament, cementum (covering the tooth roots), and the alveolar bone (the bone socket in which the teeth are anchored). Periodontal health is essential for maintaining the stability and function of the teeth.
Periodontal disease, also known as gum disease or periodontitis, is a chronic inflammatory condition that affects the periodontal tissues. It is primarily caused by the buildup of plaque, a sticky film of bacteria and food particles that forms on the teeth. If not adequately removed through proper oral hygiene practices like brushing and flossing, plaque can harden into tartar (calculus), which can only be removed by a dental professional.
A healthy mouth is the foundation of a healthy body, and keeping your teeth and gums clean is key to preventing periodontal disease.
Periodontal disease is inflamed bacteria between the gums that result in decay. The damage from tartar and plaque build-up can infect gums, teeth, nerves, and the bones that support the mouth—stages of periodontitis range from mild to severe.
There are a number of risk factors for periodontal disease, including:
- Poor oral hygiene: Not brushing and flossing your teeth regularly can lead to a buildup of plaque and tartar.
- Genetics: Some people are more likely to develop periodontal disease than others.
- Medical conditions: Some medical conditions, such as diabetes and HIV, can increase your risk of developing periodontal disease.
- Smoking: Smoking can damage the gums and make them more susceptible to infection.
- Hormonal changes: Women are more likely to develop periodontal disease during pregnancy and menopause.
Periodontal disease can be treated with a variety of methods, including:
- Professional cleaning: Your dentist can remove plaque and tartar from your teeth.
- Scaling and root planing: This procedure involves removing plaque and tartar from below the gum line.
- Antibiotics: If the infection is severe, your dentist may prescribe antibiotics.
- Surgery: In some cases, surgery may be necessary to remove infected tissue and bone.
Get Treatment From Hood Canal Family Dental
The best way to prevent periodontitis is with regular checkups with your dentist at Hood Canal Family Dental. We provide services to help minimize the effect of periodontitis by stopping it and strengthening your oral hygiene. If your mouth has damage due to periodontal disease, we have the solutions to repair and reconstruct the smile you deserve.