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What is Periodontal Disease and How Can I Prevent It?

If you’ve heard someone mention periodontal disease, you might wonder what it is exactly. Chances are you’ve already heard terms like gingivitis and gum disease, but what do they mean?

Teeth and gums susceptible to gum disease

Image courtesy of Wikipedia

Periodontal disease is an advanced form of gum disease. It starts out in its earliest form as gingivitis, which is simply swelling and irritation of the gum tissues caused by poor oral hygiene. When not corrected through proper home and preventive care, gingivitis evolves into something much more serious – periodontal disease. Fortunately, our qualified dentists at Hammond Pond Dental can help!

Symptoms of Periodontal Disease Include:

  • Bad breath
  • Gum recession
  • Tooth mobility
  • Food packing between the teeth or under the gums

Diagram of teeth roots

Image courtesy of Wikipedia

Although periodontal disease may seem like an inconvenience, it’s much more than that. When left untreated, the infection continues to progress deeper and deeper under the gums, causing them to detach from the roots of your teeth. Bone loss and tooth mobility becomes so advanced that the teeth ultimately fall out if professional care is not sought out.

Thankfully, with routine preventive care and dedicated oral hygiene, you can prevent periodontal disease or reverse it while it is in its earliest stages of gingivitis. Hammond Pond Dental recommends a preventive cleaning every 6 months. Our hygienists will remove calcified tartar and bacteria from the teeth that contribute to periodontal disease. If early stages of bone loss and gum detachment are present, we will provide you with a care plan that will include important steps like a deep cleaning to help eliminate the pathogens that cause the disease. Other steps may be needed as well; depending on how far along the condition has progressed.

Periodontal disease doesn’t just affect your smile; it affects your life. The infection is directly linked to health problems like cardiovascular disease, obesity, diabetes, and more. Schedule your preventive cleaning and exam at our Chestnut Hill, MA office to enjoy a healthy smile that lasts a lifetime.

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