If you have been told you have periodontal (gum) disease, you’re not alone. Many adults in the U.S. currently have some form of the disease.
According to recent findings from the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC), half of Americans aged 30 or older have periodontitis, the more advanced form of periodontal disease. This equals approximately 64.7 million Americans.
Periodontal diseases range from simple gum inflammation to serious disease that results in major damage to the soft tissue and bone that support the teeth. In the worst cases, teeth are lost.
Whether your gum disease is stopped, slowed, or gets worse depends a great deal on how well you care for your teeth and gums every day.
Read on to discover some of the weird and wonderful facts about dentistry and gum disease you probably never knew or even thought you’d need to know… until now!
1. What Is Periodontal Disease?
Periodontal disease (Gum disease) is an inflammatory disease that affects the soft and hard structures that support the teeth.
Gum disease is an infection of the gums. It is caused byplaque, a sticky film that collects on teeth and gums. Plaque makes acids and toxins that can make gums red, puffy, or bleed.
Over time, gum disease can cause gums to pull away from the teeth. This can form pockets between the teeth and gums. Germs can become trapped in these pockets, causing the bone around the teeth to become weak.
Gum disease is common. Many people have an early form of gum disease, which can be treated with good oral care. But if you ignore gum disease, it can weaken the bone around the teeth, causing teeth to become loose and eventually fall out.