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Gum Disease

Open human mouth during oral checkup at

Periodontal disease (periodontitis) is the leading cause of tooth loss and is one of the most common health conditions in our population. It can be caused by a variety of factors, including genetics and poor oral hygiene. Also, people who smoke or chew tobacco, have uneven teeth or don’t have a set routine for professional teeth cleaning are more prone to periodontal disease.

When bacteria start to collect in your mouth, a sticky, colorless substance known as “plaque” develops. Plaque builds up on your teeth. If not removed during brushing and flossing, the plaque particles can harden and turn into tartar. Over time, plaque and tartar become more difficult to remove at home. Receiving regular professional cleanings at our Arlington dental office is vital for maintaining your oral health and preventing periodontal disease.

The longer the plaque and tartar remain on the teeth, the more harm they can cause to your oral health. Accumulated plaque and tartar may lead to gingivitis, an indicator of poor oral hygiene that could lead to periodontal disease. Routine professional cleanings and proper at-home oral care can prevent gingivitis from developing. Our team is trained and certified to treat periodontal disease, as well as prevent its progression.

Signs of Gum Disease

It is important to visit our Arlington dental team for a complete exam if you experience any of the following symptoms:

  • Sore, inflamed or receding gums

  • Bleeding while brushing or flossing

  • Loose teeth

  • Presence of bad breath that consistently returns

  • Pockets between the gums and tooth noticeable by food impaction

In cases where gingivitis is not treated, periodontal disease can develop. Gingivitis is not a precursor to periodontal disease as gum tissue regenerates regularly. Once the bacteria has reached beneath the gum line and begins to attach the bone structure that holds the teeth in the mouth it is called periodontal disease and this cannot be reversed. A non-surgical cleaning to debride the root surfaces of bacteria (scaling and root planing) is required with regular maintenance visits every three months. Left untreated, periodontal disease can destroy much of the bone which anchors the teeth causing tooth loss. Bone loss cannot be reversed. With regular maintenance progression of bone destruction can be ceased but not replaced or regenerated.

For more information on periodontal disease or to schedule a consultation and exam, contact our dental office in Arlington.

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