What is Periodontitis?

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Periodontitis, or “gum disease,” is a chronic inflammatory disease that if left untreated can lead to tooth loss and other health problems. Typically the disease is painless and most patients are unaware that they have an issue until they are examined by a dentist.

 

This video provides a good basic understanding of periodontitis, reviewing disease progression and recommended treatments.


To determine the health of your gums, your dental professional will perform a periodontal exam. A measuring tool is gently placed into the collar of gum tissue that surrounds the tooth, called a pocket. Normal, healthy pockets are typically between 1-3 mm in depth with no bleeding. When bacteria are allowed to sit below the gum line for an extended period of time, an infection can develop in the gums and may result in bone loss.

 

Periodontal disease is an infectious disease caused by the bacteria in your mouth and your body’s inflammatory response. Normal, healthy pockets are typically between 1-3 mm in depth with no bleeding or bone loss. If bacteria are allowed to accumulate below the gum line for extended periods of time, it hardens on to the root structure and creates an inflammatory response that signals your body to destroy the bone and ligament supporting your teeth. The bacteria can also enter the bloodstream and contribute to systemic health conditions.

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