Periodontal Disease, or gum disease, is a serious infection in your gums that is mainly caused by bacterial plaque that is constantly forming on your teeth. When plaque isn’t removed by brushing, flossing and regular dental cleanings, it can turn to tartar—a hard substance that can only be removed by a dentist. When left in your mouth, plaque and tartar can cause inflammation of your gums, which can develop into infections below the gum line causing the gum to separate from your teeth creating pockets that become infected and can even fill with pus.
As the pockets deepen and the disease becomes more pronounced, bone and gum tissue are destroyed which can ultimately result in tooth loss. Periodontal disease is stealthy, usually giving no or very few signs of its existence. Regular dental checkups can detect periodontal disease at even its earliest stages. Since periodontal disease is created by plaque and tartar buildup on your gums, good dental hygiene is a must in preventing gum disease.
Good daily oral hygiene habits are necessary to prevent periodontal disease. Regular brushing and flossing remove plaque before it hardens into tartar. Rinsing with mouthwash can also help. These healthy habits also wash away bacteria, food particles, sugars, and more, which can lead to plaque buildup. Keep a toothbrush at your desk or in your purse to wash away any particles after you eat at work or school.
However, that’s not enough. Regular visits to your dentist for checkups and professional cleanings will help keep your gums healthy and free of periodontal disease and infections. Your checkups will involve scaling and root planing to remove plaque or tartar buildup, which can only be done by a dentist or dental hygienist. Daily build up is a reality, which cannot be ignored. The only way to prevent periodontal disease is to remove it through daily brushing and regular cleanings.
Find out more about Periodontics at MouthHealthy.org.