As I started my dental hygiene career, I was always very passionate about treating patients with periodontal disease, and I do the best I can to get their periodontal health as best as it can get. So many people ask me why I love treating periodontal disease? I answer simply and say “your gums and the surrounding bone are the foundation of your teeth and if periodontal disease left untreated it is very destructive to the oral cavity”.
Periodontal disease is a chronic bacterial infection that attacks your bone and supporting tissues of the teeth, and if left untreated it can lead to bone loss. The main cause of periodontal disease is plaque, which is the soft, sticky, “fuzzy” film on your teeth causing irritation to your gums, which leads to gingivitis. If gingivitis left untreated, the bacterial plaque migrates underneath your gums leading to periodontitis (bone disease). At this point plaque becomes calculus (Tarter) which is the hard cement-like, white chalky material that’s impossible to remove with the toothbrush. As tarter and bacteria forms underneath your gums it starts to eat away your bone and the supporting tissues around your teeth. Unfortunately bone loss caused by periodontal disease is not reversible but with the right treatment it can be maintained from progression.
Research has shown that periodontal disease does not only attack your oral cavity, it may also increase your susceptibility to other systemic diseases. In periodontal disease, the high level of bacteria present in the oral cavity can spread into the bloodstream to other parts of your body causing some serious systemic conditions such as cardiovascular disease, respiratory disease, and also preterm low-birthweight deliveries. Other risk factors besides bacterial plaque leading to periodontal disease may include: smoking, diabetes, osteoporosis, HIV/AIDS, stress, and also medications.
It is my job to diagnose early signs of periodontal disease using full patient...