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What is Periodontal Disease?
You may have heard about gum disease, also known as "periodontitis" or "periodontal disease." Maybe a dental professional or hygienist recently told you that you have this infection.
Periodontal disease is insidious. It is an infection of the gums that starts out as plaque, an opaque film on the teeth that hardens to form tartar. As tartar accumulates, it harbors bacteria that attack the soft tissue around the gums. This is the early stage of gum disease known as gingivitis. Left untreated, gingivitis becomes periodontitis which ultimately destroys the tissue surrounding your teeth and the bone that holds your teeth in place. Except for bad breath and gums that bleed, there are very few early warning signals. The disease advances silently, often without pain, and before you know it, you are losing your teeth and you don't know why; tooth loss is only the most obvious indicator of gum disease.
How do you go from healthy gums to periodontal disease? What are the stages?
The erliest stage of periodontal disease is referred to as gingivitis. Bacteria and plaque build up and the gum tissues become infected. You may experience irritation, redness, swelling, and bleeding of the gums as well as bad breath.
If left unchecked, the bacteria multiply and start to progressivly damage the supporting structures aound the teeth like bone. You will experience red, swollen gums, bleeding after brushing, sensitive teeth, and loose/shifting teeth.
Gingivitis is reversable unlike periodontal disease. Periodontitis is non-reversable and can only be treated and controlled.
Arestin: fight infection right where it starts
Do you know why it's so important to treat periodontal disease and why brushing and flossing alone won't do the trick?
Periodontal disease is today's #1 cause of tooth loss among adults.
While a relationship between periodontal disease and an elevated risk for systemic events has not been established, recent data suggest a possible association between periodontal disease and other health issues including cardiovascular disease, diabetes, and preterm low birth-weight babies.
How can you stay one step ahead of periodontitis? Arestin is an antibiotic that helps you fight back against gum disease. Without an antibiotic such as arestin, baseline levels of bacteria may return in just a few days, even after SRP.