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Periodontal Disease

The word periodontal means “around the tooth.” Periodontal disease attacks the gums and the bones that support teeth. Plaque is a sticky film of food debris, bacteria, and saliva. If plaque is not removed, it turns into calculus (tartar). When plaque and calculus are not removed, they begin to destroy the gums and bone. Periodontal disease is characterized by red, swollen, and bleeding gums.

Four out of five people have periodontal disease, and many don’t know it! Most people are unaware because, during its early stages, the disease is usually painless.

Not only is periodontal disease the number one reason for tooth loss, research suggests that there may be a link between periodontal disease and other diseases, such as stroke, bacterial pneumonia, diabetes, and cardiovascular disease. Periodontal disease may also cause increased risk during pregnancy. Researchers are still determining whether inflammation and bacteria associated with periodontal disease affects these systemic diseases and conditions. Finally, smoking increases the risk of periodontal disease.

Good oral hygiene, a balanced diet, and regular dental visits can help reduce your risk of developing periodontal disease.

Signs and symptoms of periodontal disease:

  • Bleeding gums – Gums should never bleed, even when you brush vigorously or use dental floss.
  • Loose teeth – Also caused by bone loss or weakened periodontal fibers (fibers that bind the tooth to the bone).
  • New spacing between teeth – Caused by bone loss.
  • Persistent bad breath – Caused by bacteria in the mouth.
  • Pus around the teeth and gums – Sign that there is an infection present.
  • Receding gums – Loss of gum around a tooth.
  • Red and puffy gums – Gums should never be red or swollen.
  • Tenderness or Discomfort – Plaque, calculus, and bacteria irritate the gums and teeth.

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(415) 388-6100

10 Willow Street, Suite 6
     Mill Valley, CA 94941

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