Periodontal disease is an inflammatory, autoimmune disease of the structures that support the teeth (the bone, gums, and ligament holding the tooth into the gum and bone). Unlike most diseases, periodontitis progresses silently. Only the very advanced stages of the disease become obvious to the average person. It sometimes occurs in cycles of acute disease, but most often is chronic.
Periodontal disease is a result of a bacterial infection under the gum line, and your body’s response to that infection. The ultimate progression of periodontitis results in tooth loss. Factors that may put you at an increased risk of developing gum disease include a family history, history of past gum disease, osteoporosis, diabetes, autoimmune disorders, age, medications, diet, stress, grinding and clenching, and poor or inadequate home care.
Also, when you have untreated periodontitis, you increase your risk of developing other diseases such as diabetes, stroke, cardiovascular disease, respiratory illness, and preterm birth or low birth weight babies.
Treatment of periodontal disease varies with the severity and progression of the disease. Initial therapy involves removal of infection below the gum line and often the use of antimicrobial rinses and medications. Success is dependent upon maintaining a clean and healthy environment below the gum line through meticulously effective care at home and periodic retreatment in the office at periodontal maintenance visits scheduled at strict intervals as appropriate to the individual response to therapy as monitored at these visits.
Our Dental Team is well trained to provide initial therapy and ongoing periodontal maintenance. We are also fortunate to work with several outstanding periodontal specialists to co-treat more advanced disease and provide surgical intervention for specific situations as they arise, including the placement of dental implants when needed.