Periodontal disease or gum disease is a bacterial infection around the teeth and under the gum tissue and is the most common disease in the world. 75% to 95% of all adults will experience some form of periodontal disease in their lifetime.
Periodontal disease is found mostly in adults. Children can have periodontal disease but it is not common. The bacteria or germs that cause this infection live in every adult’s mouth. These germs collect on our teeth every day. If they are not removed thoroughly by brushing and flossing, they start to grow and migrate under the gum line.
The germs that grow below the gum line produce toxins or poisons. These toxins start a destructive process which causes the bone that surrounds and supports the teeth to be destroyed. Slowly, usually without symptoms, the bone dissolves away. This disease process can take years to result in tooth loss.
Unlike most bacterial infections, periodontal disease cannot be treated successfully with antibiotics. This is because the germs are on the root surface where the antibiotic cannot be delivered. Only the physical or mechanical scraping away of the bacteria from the root surfaces will solve the problem.
Periodontal disease is preventable and treatable. New information, new techniques, and new products are constantly becoming available to help stop this infection. My advice is to educate yourself, discuss this with your dental professional and don’t let this infection rob you of your smile.