Gum Disease

February 22, 2011  |   Toothfully Speaking   |     |   Comments Off on Gum Disease

If you ask most people what a dentist does, they would typically say that a dentist treats cavities in teeth.  Dentists also diagnose and treat another problem that is almost as common- gum disease.

Periodontitis, the official term for gum disease, is an infection of the gingiva that causes a breakdown and loss of the bone supporting the teeth.  It is caused by different bacteria than the germ the causes cavities.  Your risk for gum disease is much higher if you smoke, have diabetes, or have a family history of gum disease.

Prevention of gum disease depends on regular cleanings and diligent home care, including flossing.  Treatment of bone loss depends on how early the problem is diagnosed, so it is critical to see your dentist and hygienist regularly.

Dr. Bruce Holes

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