One health concern we have as a dental professional is the relationship between Periodontal disease or pyorrhea and diabetes and/or smoking.

Periodontal Disease or Pyorrhea is an infection of the gums and the surrounding supporting structures of the teeth.  This infection can include bleeding and puss in the gums.  By definition, “Perio” means “around” and “dontal” means “teeth”.  Periodontal disease is the number one reason why adults lose their teeth.  In fact 47% of adults in the America have some form of periodontal disease.  Periodontal disease is typically not painful unless the tissues become acutely infected. Unfortunately it can be ignored until the teeth become too loose to save and they need to be removed.  Many new patients in our office are surprised when they are informed about the bone loss around their teeth. We do a screening on each new patient to see if they have this infection of the mouth.

Shelby Twp. Dentist Explains Periodontal Disease

What is periodontal disease?

  • Typically known as “gum disease,” it is a disease that attacks the gum and bone and supporting structures around the teeth. The gums begin to pull away from the tooth creating a space that becomes infected. The infection begins to break down the bone and the tissues that hold the teeth in place. If left untreated, the teeth become loose and need to be removed.

Who gets gum disease?

  • Gum disease can affect people of all ages. Usually signs don’t appear until people are in their 30s or 40s. More men than women get gum disease. Also, smoking is a major risk factor in developing gum disease. People who smoke or are diabetic are at a greater risk to develop problems with their gums.

How do I know if I have gum disease?

  • Some symptoms of gum disease include red or swollen gums, bleeding gums, bad breath that won’t go away, loose teeth, receding gums or teeth that appear longer. However, many people have no symptoms at all and do not realize they have gum disease until it is in the advanced stages. Seeing a dentist regularly will help prevent gum disease or treat gum disease if it is present.

How is gum disease treated?

  • Treating gum disease is usually a multi-step approach. Brushing twice a day and flossing once a day will help keep plaque levels low. Good oral hygiene homecare is imperative for a healthy mouth. If gum disease is diagnosed by your dentist, scaling and root planning (using local anesthesia), is performed by a dental hygienist to remove the bacteria off the teeth. Sometimes local antibiotics may be placed in the infected gum tissue sites. Advanced gum disease may require surgical approaches as well including extractions.

Does gum disease affect my overall health also?

  • Yes, studies have shown a correlation between gum disease and other health issues. People with gum disease had higher incidences of heart disease and diabetes. Research shows that the association may be linked to the inflammation that is present. Women with gum disease also were more likely to delivery preterm babies.

Contact Shelby Township Dentist – Robert Antolak DDS – (586)247-3500