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The Periodontium consists of the gum and the bone that hold (or support) the teeth. I usually refer to it as ‘the foundation’ that supports the house.
Periodontal disease is an inflammatory process that attacks the gums and the bone supporting the teeth. It is caused by plaque, which consists of bacteria and broken down food particles. Plaque turns into a hard stony material called calculus or tartar, when it is not removed.
The bacteria within the plaque and calculus, which causes inflammation, starts as a process called Gingivitis, red, swollen and bleeding gums. As time goes on the gingivitis becomes Periodontitis, which is the actual loss of the bone that anchors the teeth in the jaws.
It is thought that there may be a link between gum disease and cardiovascular (or heart) disease. If the gums are in very poor condition, they usually bleed quite readily i.e., when you brush or floss. The bacteria from the plaque can enter the blood this way and find their way to the arteries that supply the heart. The bacteria can set up deposits in these arteries which can affect blood flow. When the blood flow becomes compromised, this can lead to a heart attack.
In addition, the arterial deposits may become loose which can result in a stroke if the blockage is in the brain.
Please note: Smoking also causes gum disease.
The Signs of Gum Disease:
1) Bleeding gums when flossing or brushing.
2) Loose teeth which may also have shifted.
3) Bad breath.
4) Gums that are red and swollen.
5) Recession of the gums (exposed root surfaces).
I hope that this entry helps you to better understand that good dental hygiene is not just about the teeth, but also what’s holding the teeth in…The PERIODONTIUM.
Are your gums sore? Are your gums bleeding or swollen? Do you have Gingivitis? If you answered yes to any of these questions, you may have Periodontal Disease.
We can help. Call us today at (905) 791-3867 to book your appointment.
About Dr. Axelrad
Practicing dentistry for over 23 years, Dr. Robert Axelrad owns and manages his own dental practice in the heart of Brampton, Ontario. Affectionately known as ‘Brampton’s Gentle Dentist‘, patients include children, adults and seniors. Dr. Axelrad recently moved his practice to its current, state-of-the-art dental office at Bestgate Professional Center in Brampton, Ontario, Canada in 2002 to accommodate his growing list of happy patients.