There’s more to a healthy mouth than just a pretty smile.
Gum (periodontal) disease, also called periodontitis, is a chronic bacterial infection affecting the gums and bone supporting the teeth. As the disease destroys gum tissue and bone, teeth can become loose and may have to be removed.
Researchers have found that periodontitis can be associated with other health problems such as cardiovascular disease, stroke and bacterial pneumonia. Likewise, pregnant women who have periodontitis may be at increased risk for delivering pre-term and/or low birth weight babies.
It is possible to have periodontal disease and have no pain or discomfort. That is one reason why regular dental checkups and gum examinations are very important. Treatment methods depend upon the type of disease and how far the condition has progressed. Good oral hygiene at home is essential to help keep periodontal disease from becoming more serious or recurring.
You don’t have to lose teeth to periodontal disease. Brush, clean between your teeth, eat a balanced diet, and schedule regular dental visits for a lifetime of healthy smiles. Given the potential link between periodontitis and systemic health problems, prevention of periodontitis may turn out to be an important step in maintaining overall health.