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Periodontal Disease

One of the most common causes of tooth loss in adults today is periodontal disease.  It is an infection of the supporting structures (bone and connective tissues) around the teeth.  Our mouths are full of bacteria.  These bacteria in combination with our saliva and other particles form “plaque.” Plaque is a soft sticky substance that we can effectively remove with brushing and flossing. However, if the plaque is left there it will eventually turn hard on the tooth, which we then call “tartar.” Tartar buildup can only be removed with a professional dental cleaning. 

The longer the tartar and plaque sit there on the teeth and spread below the gumline, it will create “pockets.”  These become infected with all of the bacteria and buildup and eventually, if untreated long enough, the bone and connective tissues around the teeth are destroyed.  This can lead to mobility in the teeth and eventually, tooth loss.  

If you are diagnosed with periodontal disease, it is very important to have regular dental cleanings and check-ups, and also great oral hygiene.  The more you can keep these areas clean with brushing, flossing and dental cleanings, the greater your chance of being able to manage the gum disease.

– from Rachel P. (Dental Hygienist)

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