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The Facts about Periodontal Disease

April 25, 2018

Filed under: Preventive Dentistry — Tags: — dr_ruocco @ 2:57 am

female dental patientLet’s talk about periodontal—or gum—disease. Not exactly a popular topic of conversation, but an important one nevertheless. Conservative estimates show that approximately 80 percent of adults in the United States have some degree of periodontal disease. There is treatment for this bacterial infection; however, the disease cannot ever be eradicated from your mouth. That’s why a strict oral hygiene routine is essential after you’ve had a diagnosis of periodontal disease. Read on for more information and treatment options.

What is Periodontal Disease?

The disease begins with plaque and tartar buildup along your gum line. If not removed daily with brushing and flossing, plaque will eventually harden and become tartar. Bacteria flourish in both plaque and tartar. As these bacteria multiply, they begin to invade and destroy gum tissue and eventually the underlying bone structure that supports your teeth.

What are the Signs of Gum Disease?

Initially, you may not be able to see any visible signs of gum disease. That’s why your dental checkups are so important. We will measure the depth of gum pockets around your teeth; pockets that are too deep may indicate the beginning of periodontal disease.

Other signs that you should be on the lookout for include:

  • Gums that are red and swollen
  • Bleeding gums
  • Persistent bad breath
  • An ill-fitting denture
  • Loose teeth

What are the Systemic Affects of Gum Disease?

As gum disease advances from the early to latter stage—from gingivitis to periodontitis—problems may not be confined to your mouth. The same bacteria that cause gum disease can migrate through your bloodstream and respiratory system. Heart disease, stroke, diabetes, obesity, depression and pregnancy complications may all have a connection to the bacteria that cause gum disease.

What is the Treatment for Gum Disease?

If gum disease is detected during a dental checkup, then Dr. Ruocco may be able to treat with non-surgical therapy called scaling and root planing. During this procedure, hardened plaque is removed from above and below the gum line. This is known as scaling. Then, during root planing, tooth roots are smoothed so plaque and tartar are less likely to stick to stubborn rough spots. Finally, an antibiotic may be applied directly to infected gums and inside inflamed gum pockets.

Dr. Ruocco will also want you to stick to a stringent at-home oral hygiene routine in order to prevent bacterial overgrowth.

If you see any of the early signs of gum disease, or if it’s just time for a dental checkup, please contact Ruocco Dental in Waxhaw.


About The Author

Drs. John and Sandi Ruocco offer high quality, comprehensive dental care from the comfort of their state-of-the-art dental practice. To learn more or to schedule an appointment with them contact the office by calling 704-843-2880 today or visit our website at!

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