80% of the population has some form of gum disease. Gum tissue irritated by bacteria can recede from the teeth, exposing sensitive root surfaces which are especially susceptible to decay. Loss of bone surrounding teeth can cause them to become loose- gum disease is one of the most common causes of tooth loss!
Characterized by a persistent bacterial infection surrounding one or several teeth, periodontal disease frequently causes little discomfort and produces few obvious symptoms in its early stages. Gum tissue irritated by bacteria can recede from the teeth, exposing sensitive root surfaces which are especially susceptible to decay. When left untreated, it can progress compromising bone and leading to loose teeth and infection. Periodontal disease is one of the leading reasons for dental extractions. Studies also indicate a link between gum disease and heart disease, risk of stroke, diabetes and pregnancy complications.
Everyone is susceptible to gum disease but there are many factors known to increase risk, including tobacco use of any kind, hormonal fluctuations, stress, use of certain medications, genetics, conditions which cause immunodeficiency such as HIV, poor nutrition, and poor oral hygiene. Your hygienist can help you identify periodontal disease, when present, before more serious problems develop. You will also learn the best methods of brushing and flossing to keep your gums and teeth healthy.