Periodontal Disease

Naperville Periodontics

Periodontal disease is a chronic inflammatory disease that affects approximately 35% of individuals over 30 years of age in the US.  It is generally caused by a build-up of plaque, which contains bacteria and toxins.  The plaque and tartar (calcified plaque) irritate the gum tissue.  Toxins produced by the bacteria and enzymes produced by the body as part of the inflammatory response may destroy the supporting bone around the teeth.  The gums pull away from the teeth and form pockets.  These can fill with more plaque and lead to continued bone loss.  Teeth can become loose and eventually lost if not treated.  Daily cleaning to remove the plaque is essential to a healthy mouth and can help to prevent periodontal disease.

What are the symptoms of periodontal disease?

Not all people with gum disease have symptoms.  Often, the gum tissue looks and feels normal, yet pockets are present.  A periodontal evaluation by a dentist or periodontist is essential to determine oral health.  There are some symptoms that may indicate the presence of periodontal disease:

  • Red or swollen gumsPeriodontal Disease Treatment in Naperville
  • Bleeding of gum tissue
  • Bad breath
  • Receding gums
  • Loosening of teeth
  • Shifting or new spaces between teeth
  • Bad taste in mouth

 

What are the risk factors for developing periodontal disease?

  • Poor oral hygiene
  • Smoking
  • Genetic susceptibility
  • Infrequent dental visits
  • Dry mouth
  • Chronic stress
  • Poor diet
  • Tooth grinding or clenching
  • Medications: some dry the mouth while others make the tissue more reactive to the plaque
  • Pregnancy and Menopause
  • Systemic illnesses such as diabetes or osteoporosis

Can periodontal disease affect my health?

Research over the last decade has produced mounting support of a link between oral health and overall systemic health.  If untreated, periodontal disease may be a risk factor for serious medical problems including the following:

  • Cardiovascular disease including stroke
  • Respiratory disease
  • Poor diabetes control