Gum Disease

Periodontal disease is caused by inflammationPeriodontal disease, or simply gum disease, is the single most common cause of tooth loss in adults. This inflammatory disease attacks the gums, bone and other supporting structures of the teeth.

Gum disease is caused by plaque, a colorless film of bacteria that forms on the teeth. Plaque mixes with sugars and starches in the diet to form acids and other by-products in the mouth, irritating the gums and causing them to become red, tender and swollen. It also causes the gums to bleed easily. If not removed daily, plaque hardens to form calculus (tartar) around the necks of the teeth.

The tissue that attaches the gums to the teeth can be destroyed by the irritants in plaque. The gums pull away from the teeth and small pockets form between the teeth and gums. These pockets become filled with more plaque. As the pockets deepen, it becomes impossible for you to clean the plaque out. Eventually, the bone structure supporting the teeth can be destroyed.

You need not lose your teeth to gum disease. With today's state-of-the-art treatment procedures, most teeth can be saved.