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What is Periodontal Disease?

Periodontal Disease

Do you know what periodontal disease is? Your local dentist office in Marietta, GA can give you information about how to maintain a proper dental care routine in order to lower your risks for periodontal disease. This common but potentially harmful condition is also known as gum disease and can lead to the loss of teeth and the need for false teeth, such as dentures or dental implants. Keep reading to learn more about the causes and stages of periodontal disease.

Causes of Periodontal Disease Periodontal Disease

Periodontal disease is caused by oral bacteria that live in the mouth and produce particles that form plaque on the teeth. That’s why it’s important to maintain a healthy dental care routine by brushing your teeth twice a day and flossing daily. Otherwise, the plaque in your mouth can harden to form a substance called tartar. Tartar can’t be removed by brushing and flossing; tartar removal requires more advanced cleaning techniques performed by a dental hygienist.

Early Periodontal Disease: Gingivitis

Gingivitis is the early stage of periodontal disease and occurs when plaque and tartar remain on the teeth for an extended period of time, causing the gums to become inflamed and swollen. If caught early, this form of periodontal disease can often be reversed through proper dental care, including brushing, flossing, and regular cleaning by a professional dental hygienist.

Advanced Periodontal Disease: Periodontitis

Left untreated, gingivitis can become periodontitis, the more advanced form of periodontal disease. Patients who develop this condition may notice that their gums start to pull away from the teeth, leaving spaces between the teeth and gums. This pockets can become infected as bacteria and plaque continue to grow beneath the gum line. As the body tries to fight off the infection-causing bacteria, the bone that holds the teeth in place can become damaged and start to break down. Eventually, the teeth will become unstable in the jaw bone and may fall out or need to be extracted and replaced with dental implants.