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What is Periodontal Disease and How Can I Prevent it?

Posted on: March 25th, 2015 | Posted by | Posted in Dental Blog

Periodontal disease is more commonly referred to as gum disease. Although it doesn’t sound very serious, gum disease can become so severe that it causes your teeth to become loose and even fall out. Our goal at our Nashua dental office is to help our patients prevent gum disease before it is too late.

Flossing teeth to help prevent gum disease

Image courtesy of Flickr

Symptoms typically include problems like:

  • Gums that bleed when you brush or floss
  • Gum recession (exposed roots)
  • Tartar buildup above and below the gums
  • Halitosis

How Does it Start?

An example of periodontal disease

Image courtesy of Wikipedia

Initially, periodontal disease starts out as gingivitis, which is completely reversible with daily brushing and flossing. If home care isn’t what it should be, the plaque and tartar deposits begin to build up deeper under the gumlines. Over time this causes the gums to detach from the teeth, and bone structure around the root to be destroyed. Daily flossing or the use of a water flosser is the only way to prevent these areas from becoming infected.

Professional Treatment is Important

Once buildup has calcified within this gum pocket, flossing won’t remove it. A professional cleaning or deep cleaning is necessary in order to create a clean environment that can then be maintained at home. After this cleaning and a rigorous home oral hygiene program, symptoms of periodontal disease typically begin to improve after 10-14 days.

How do you know if you have periodontal disease? Nashua Dental Group performs a comprehensive periodontal evaluation on all patients, including a series of x-rays. This data helps us identify specific diseased pocket areas or localized bone loss, to limit the spread of the infection. Regular maintenance cleanings are important to remove deposits that form between dental visits, because even excellent flossing and brushing will sometimes leave some plaque behind.

If you suspect that you have gum disease, now is the time to act. Don’t wait until it destroys your smile. Call Nashua Dental Group today to discuss our non-surgical periodontal therapy options.


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