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Periodontal (gum) diseases, including gingivitis and periodontitis, are serious infections that, left untreated, can lead to tooth loss. The word periodontal literally means "around the tooth." Periodontal disease is a chronic bacterial infection that affects the gums and bone supporting the teeth. Periodontal disease can affect one tooth or many teeth. It begins when the bacteria in plaque (the sticky, colorless film that constantly forms on your teeth) causes the gums to become inflamed.

Four out of five people have periodontal disease and don’t know it!  Most people are not aware of it because the disease is usually painless in the early stages.

Click here:    Half of americans suffer.pdf

Not only is it the number one reason for tooth loss, research suggests that there may be a link between periodontal disease and other diseases such as, stroke, bacterial pneumonia, diabetes, cardiovascular disease, and increased risk during pregnancy.  Researchers are determining if inflammation and bacteria associated with periodontal disease affects these systemic diseases and conditions.  Smoking also increases the risk of periodontal disease.

Good oral hygiene, a balanced diet, and regular dental visits can help reduce your risk of developing periodontal disease.

Signs and symptoms of periodontal disease:

  • Red, swollen or tender gums or other pain in your mouth
  • Bleeding while brushing, flossing or eating hard food
  • Gums that are receding or pulling away from the teeth, causing the teeth to look "longer"
  • Loose or seperating teeth
                                    
  • Pus between your gums and teeth
  • Sores in your mouth
  • Persistant bad breath
  • A changed in the way your teeth fit together when you bite
  • A change in the fit of partial dentures