Port Charlotte Dentist  Periodontal Disease  Charlotte County Dentistry

Periodontal diseases are those diseases found around the teeth which affect the supporting structures of the teeth. "Peri" means around, and "dontal" means tooth. Periodontal diseases affect the tissues around the teeth including the gum tissues and the bone.

The accumulation of bacteria found around teeth is called "plaque". When plaque is not removed for 24 hours or more, the plaque becomes calcified. Calcified debris around teeth is called "tartar" or "calculus". Calculus is the "barnacle" that grows on human teeth. The bacteria (plaque) and build up of calculus cause bone loss. Eventually, teeth become loose, and may be lost.

Port Charlotte Dentist  Causes

Periodontal diseases are generally caused by bacteria; however, there are other factors which contribute to bone destruction, tooth mobility, and tooth loss. Contributing factors to periodontal disease include all forms of tobacco use, tooth grinding or clenching, poor fitting crowns or restorations, food impaction, poor diet, and systemic diseases such as Diabetes and HIV/AIDS. There are prescription medications which may contribute to periodontal disease and/or gingival enlargement.

There are certain periodontal diseases which are more common in specific populations, families, and/or groups of people. Genetics plays a role in a person’s resistance or susceptibility to periodontal disease. Research has shown that approximately 40% of the disease process may be due to genetics, and 60% of the progression of the disease process is directly related to environmental issues which can be modified, and are under our control.

Periodontal disease is not normally painful. Most people do not know they have periodontal disease or bone loss until they begin to notice bleeding. Signs of periodontal disease include bleeding gums, lose teeth, drifting teeth, and bad breathe. Often patients are not aware that they have periodontal disease until their tooth is very loose.

Port Charlotte Dentist  Prevention

The prevention of periodontal disease requires good oral hygiene, a healthy diet, and regular professional care. Good oral hygiene and regular periodontal cleanings are critical to maintaining bone levels, preventing bone loss, and tooth loss.

Port Charlotte Dentist  Maintenance

Most patients are able to avoid tooth loss with minimal professional care after the disease process has been managed. Thorough and regular periodontal maintenance therapy (cleaning) on a 3-month interval is most important to preventing tooth loss. In other words, it is important to "pick the right parents", but regular, professional dental care and good oral hygiene contribute to avoiding tooth loss for a life time.