Gum disease, or periodontal disease, remains one of the most widespread and undiagnosed diseases in our country. Nearly half of Americans over the age of thirty have some level of periodontal disease. Gum disease is a leading cause of tooth loss.
When plaque builds up around the teeth and gums, the bacteria in plaque release toxins which irritate the surrounding gum tissue. This causes the gum tissue to pull away from the tooth structure, forming “pockets” in the gums or areas where it appears the gums have “receded” away from the tooth. This disease is not limited to the gums as it can also affect the jaw bone in which the teeth are anchored.
As gum disease advances, teeth can become loose, painful, and even appear longer. It was incorrectly believed for many years that this disease was a part of getting old, however, now we know that gum disease is readily preventable and very treatable. If necessary, our hygienists can provide the appropriate therapy to treat mild and moderate forms of gum disease. In some advanced cases, Dr. Ferraro and Dr. Hicklin will recommend treatment in coordination with a gum specialist called a periodontist in order to ensure the highest level of care.