What is periodontal disease?
Periodontal disease, also known as gum disease, is an infection of the tissues that support your teeth. It is a chronic infection in your body that will not get well on its own. Periodontal disease attacks just below the gum line, where it causes the attachment between the tooth and its supporting tissues to break down. As gum tissues are damaged, pocketing develops. Generally, the more severe the periodontal disease, the deeper the pocket. If the disease is not treated it is likely that it will worsen, and eventually teeth can become loose and may need to be extracted.
At First Choice Dental, we’re prepared to give you comfort-conscious care for periodontal disease at any of our locations. In many cases, your dental hygienist and dentist can help treat periodontal disease. But the disease is further along, you may need to see our on-staff periodontist, Dr. Robert Baima.
What are the risk factors for periodontal disease?
- Tobacco smoking or chewing
- Systemic diseases such as diabetes
- Some types of medication such as steroids, some types of anti-epilepsy drugs, cancer therapy drugs, some calcium channel blockers and oral contraceptives
- Bridges that no longer fit properly
- Crooked teeth
- Fillings that have become defective
- Pregnancy or use of oral contraceptives
Here are some suggestions from our periodontist on how you can prevent gum disease.
The Warning Signs of Gum Disease
- Gums that bleed easily — healthy gums do not bleed!
- Red, swollen, tender gums
- Gums that have pulled away from the teeth
- Persistent bad breath or bad taste in mouth
- Permanent teeth that are loose or separating
- Any change in the way your teeth fit together when you bite
- Any change in the fit of partial dentures
Did you know that it’s possible, and common, to have periodontal disease and have no symptoms or pain? Only your dentist can tell you if you have periodontal disease, so regular dental checkups are important.
Speaking of checkups with your dentist, are you due for one? If so, be sure to let us know if you are experiencing any of the warning signs of periodontal disease, of if any of the risk factors mentioned above apply to you.
If you’ve already been diagnosed with the disease, and are looking for an experienced periodontist, feel free to make an appointment with Dr. Baima at our downtown Madison office on Park Street.
Prefer to talk with someone by phone? Feel free to call First Choice Dental at 608-848-5366.