Gum disease is caused by the usual suspects: Germs.
Bacteria cause many serious diseases but in the unique case of gum disease, these germs come from inside our own mouths. The human oral cavity is home to over 500 pathogens and other microorganisms.
Periodontitis begins when bacteria interact with sugars from food to form plaque, a sticky substance that coats the teeth. Brushing and flossing remove plaque but it rebuilds quickly. Plaque that hangs around too long can harden into tartar and spread under the gumline. (Tartar must be removed by professional cleaning.)
The tartar irritates the gingiva, the gum tissue at the gumline. Swelling occurs and a condition called gingivitis sets in. Gingivitis can be treated and often reversed.
However, if untreated, gingivitis can advance to periodontitis, a more serious form of disease.
In periodontitis, the gums pull away from the teeth to form “pockets.” These pockets can become infected and inflamed. As they deepen, bacterial toxins and the body’s immune system begin to break down the gum and bone that hold teeth in place. This can result in bone and tooth loss as well as systemic health problems.
Remember: Tartar can’t be removed by ordinary brushing and flossing. The only way to get rid of it is with a professional cleaning by a dentist or dental hygienist.
Dr. Sayed can assess your risk factors and design a plan for you. Call 248.901.0000 or visit our contact page.