Harold Krinsky, DDS

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Periodontal Disease

Meaning “around the tooth”, periodontal disease affects the structures that support the teeth like gums and bones. When plaque (a gummy film of food, saliva and bacteria) is not removed, it becomes calculus or tartar. Left unchecked, plaque can begin to wear away at the gums and bone, resulting in red, swollen or bleeding gums.

Because periodontal disease is virtually painless in the early stages, most people don’t even realize they have it! In fact, four out of five adults have the disease and don’t know it.

Periodontal disease is serious. If you smoke, you’re at a much greater risk. Research has also shown links to stroke, bacterial pneumonia, diabetes, cardiovascular disease, and increased risk during pregnancy. It is also the number one reason for tooth loss. Researchers are currently trying to determine if these afflictions are triggered or aided by the inflammation and bacteria from periodontal disease.

You can keep periodontal disease at by with a balanced diet, limited sweet snacks, regular brushing and flossing and dental appointments.

How do I know if I have periodontal disease?

  • Bleeding gums. Gums should never bleed, even when you brush forcefully or use dental floss.
  • Loose teeth.  Also caused by bone loss or deteriorated periodontal fibers (fibers that connect the tooth to the bone).
  • Tenderness or discomfort caused irritation from plaque, tartar, and bacteria.
  • New spacing between teeth.
  • Pus around the teeth and gums – a sure sign of infection.
  • Receding gums.
  • Red, swollen gums.
  • Chronic bad breath.

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