Consider your gums as a living foundation for your teeth. So important is this foundation that, without healthy gum structure, your teeth will become unstable and at-risk for tooth loss.
Periodontal disease is the leading cause of adult tooth loss in the United States. Periodontal disease is formed when harmful bacteria are lodged beneath the gum line, creating pockets or gaps between your gums and teeth. These pockets become infected and over time can destroy bone, teeth, and gum foundation. Smoking, genetics, pregnancy, stress and nutrition have all been found to be factors in the cause of gum disease.
If you have been diagnosed with gum disease, there is hope. There are treatments that can help reduce further damage to your gums and teeth. Your dentist or periodontist can provide several treatments to reduce infection-causing bacteria and halt further spreading, and diminish the size of periodontal pockets that encourage growth of bacteria.
The approved method for treating periodontal disease is a procedure known as SRP. SRP is a non-surgical procedure where scaling removes plaque and tartar from the teeth. Root planing then smoothes away the rough areas at the root of the tooth - eliminating bacteria build up. Your dentist may also use approved oral solutions to stop harmful enzymes that cause tooth and gum decay.
Treatment of gum disease has become ever more important to your body's health. Links have been found between periodontal disease and the increased risk of heart disease. Studies have also shown that prolonged gum disease may elevate your risk of stroke and pre-diabetes characteristics (higher than normal blood glucose levels leading to type II diabetes).