About Periodontal Disease

Your gums play a vital role in maintaining a healthy and beautiful smile, and Higson Dental Group is your Grande Prairie authority on gum health. Periodontal disease refers to various gum and bone infections that can destroy the natural support of your teeth. If your gums or the region of your jaw that hold your teeth in place become compromised, it can lead to a wide variety of problems.

When gums deteriorate they can recede, swell and turn red. If left without treatment, the infection will begin affecting the supporting bone and your teeth can shift, loosen or fall out. Losing teeth upsets your ability to chew and speak, not to mention it severely impacts your smile and can lead to confidence issues.

The vulnerable tissues associated with periodontal disease are the alveolar bone, periodontal ligament, cementum and gingiva. The most common issue is plaque-induced inflammatory lesions, often categorized as gingivitis or periodontitis.

Gingivitis is mainly caused by dental plaque, the sticky, colourless film composed of food particles and bacteria, that sticks to the baseline of your teeth and gums. If not removed daily by brushing, plaque gets thicker and the bacteria produces toxins that irritate the gums, making them red, swollen and easy to bleed.

When left untreated, this irritation causes the gums to separate from the teeth, causing spaces to form. Plaque will also harden and turn into tartar both above and below the gum line.

Gingivitis develops into periodontitis when the supportive tissues deteriorate so badly that there is bone loss, which results in loosening and ultimately the loss of teeth. While gingivitis precedes periodontitis, it does not always evolve into it.

The truth doesn’t always hurt. The fact is that periodontal disease is often painless and can occur without symptoms. Yet, it’s one of the top dental issues in adults—an estimated 80% of Canadians will experience periodontal disease by the age of 45 and 4 out of 5 of these patients will be unaware they have it. Routine dental hygiene with daily brushing and flossing will significantly help reduce the risk of developing the disease.

Preventing Gum Disease