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Chad D Burgess DDS PC

Gentle Family Dentistry

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What is Periodontal Disease?
Periodontal disease is often referred to as "gum" disease. Your teeth are held in your mouth by ligaments that attach to your jaw bones. The gingiva, also known as the "gums," covers the bone that hold the teeth. The gingiva attaches to the tooth and creates what is called a sulcus. Different types of bacteria are present in the sulcus of healthy gums. Upon certain conditions, a couple types of bacteria start to predominate, which can lead to periodontal disease.
Ok, so I know about what my gums are, I still don't know what Periodontal Disease is.
Well, the bacteria that start to predominate cause your immune system to react and try to get rid of the bacteria. From this war that is waged, the bone that holds your teeth in place starts to be attacked. This leads to bone loss around your teeth. That sulcus discussed above starts to get bigger and is referrred to as a "periodontal pocket." This pocket is nearly impossible for you to clean by yourself, which allows a place for the bacteria to "retreat" to and continue to wage this war. This war will eventually lead to the loss of almost all the bone holding in your teeth. Without this bone, the teeth become infected easier and some even fall out, or become so loose it is painful. This is a serious disease and one that requires constant management and patient compliance in order to win the war.
So in a nut shell, Periodontal Disease is a bacterial initiated disease that causes bone loss around the teeth.
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