Periodontal Disease

Written by Patricia Skinner
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Periodontal disease is an advanced form of gum disease. The initial stages of gum disease are often referred to as gingivitis. There are several different types of periodontal disease, but the end result is the same: eventual destruction of the gum leading to infection at the base of the teeth, and eventual loss of teeth.

The beginning of periodontal disease can be identified as the time when inflamed gums begin pulling away from the teeth. If allowed to continue they will shrink and pull away from the teeth and bone. Eventually the teeth will begin to loosen and fall out. The gums are sensitive to plaque, food debris and bacteria that form when the teeth and gums are not kept clean.

Halting Periodontal Disease

Good oral hygiene is the secret to prevention of periodontal disease. It is also an important part of the cure. Unless all plaque, food debris and bacteria are regularly removed the gums will not have a chance to start healing themselves. Because plaque hardens into a substance called tartar when it is not removed properly, in all likelihood you will need a professional cleaning by a dentist to get you firmly on the road to good dental health. You will not be able to remove the tartar with ordinary home oral hygiene tools, no matter how good they are.

In addition to antibiotics to kill the infection, you may need corrective surgery to solve the problem of the gum pockets which are reservoirs for bacteria that will cause reinfection. It is possible to use an oral irrigator to clean out gum pockets so that they begin to heal, but the process takes dedication.


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