Periodontal disease can arise as a result of trauma or developmental irregularities, but most often is the result of bacterial infection. The bacteria that normally reside in the mouth colonize the tooth surfaces, work their way under the gum collar (think of a turtle neck sweater around the neck of the tooth) and form a sticky material known as plaque.
Over time, plaque bacteria and their byproducts inflame and infect the gingiva and bone, causing a loss of bone, a breakdown of the ligament that attaches the tooth root to the bone and a weakening of the affected teeth. Periodontics is dedicated to maintaining or, where necessary, restoring the health and function of the structures of the mouth and jaw.
Left untreated, this infection can spread from tooth to tooth, resulting in tooth loss, gum infections and gum recession. Periodontal disease has even been tied to an increased risk of heart attack, stroke and low birth-weight in premature babies, along with causing even more trouble for diabetics.
At Dental Associates, a periodontist is available at all four of our office locations. For your convenience, we even have evening and Saturday appointments. Since we’ve been providing this periodontal care since 1976, our doctors and hygienists are attuned to recognizing periodontal problems early and to referring patients for treatment sooner rather than later. Such early intervention can play a big part in decreasing the extent of therapy.