Professional Periodontal Dentistry
According to the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention, half of Americans have mild, moderate or severe periodontitis, affecting 70 percent of those 65 and older. People with periodontal disease have 2.7 times more risk of having heart disease or a heart attack than the average person, and it also increases the risk for cancer, diabetes, premature and low-weight births, and dementia.
Gum disease usually develops if one hasn’t been brushing twice a day for two minutes in the correct way, as well as flossing once a day (most people have never learned the proper technique, so plaque, a bacterial film that forms around food that hasn’t been scraped away, develops; see our instructions on brushing and flossing).
This is especially important if one eats sugary foods or drinks sweet coffee, tea, or soda.
Without frequent cleaning of the surface of the teeth and at the gum line, plaque builds up and hardens into tartar that only a dental hygienist can remove with special tools. Unchecked, this will lead to the gums gradually pulling away from the teeth (gum recession) and they will fall out or need to be extracted. The other teeth naturally try to close up the space by leaning towards the empty socket and the resulting misalignment creates gaps where food can be trapped and hard to clean out, causing further infection.
Missing teeth need to be replaced with natural-looking dental implants or preventing the movement of other teeth into the empty space by having a dental bridge affixed.