Understanding Periodontal Disease

Turn on the TV, pick up a healthy living magazine, or make a visit to a periodontist in Bradenton, FL, and there is a strong possibility that the topic of gum disease will eventually come up. That is largely due to the fact that over half of all American adults experience some form of it (some experts believe the actual number is close to 80 percent). Yet in order for gum and periodontal disease prevention programs to truly work, you first must understand what it is, and why you should be concerned about it.

What is It?

Periodontal disease refers to any bacterial infection in the gums (which is why the terms “gum disease” and “periodontal disease” are often used interchangeably). In its earliest form, it is usually classified as “gingivitis,” which is characterized by red, inflamed gums. If left untreated, this inflammation can progress to produce much more serious results, including:

  • Rapid gum recession
  • The deterioration of your jawbone
  • Periodontal necrosis (tissue death)

Yet that is not all you need to be worried about. Researchers have recently begun establish links between cases of gum disease and the prevalence of heart disease and diabetes. Thus, if you suffer from it, you could also be a greater risk of a heart attack or stroke.

Watch for Warning Signs

Early detection and treatment is the key to avoiding the complications associated with periodontal disease. If you start to notice that your gums are bleeding while brushing, that could be a sign of your having gingivitis. A visit to your dental care provider can confirm this. Using a periodontal probe, he or she will measure the thickness of your gums. Anything above 4 mm is an indicator of inflammation.

Gum disease is not something you can afford to ignore given the potential that it has to affect more than just your oral health. Fortunately, if you are experiencing it, you are not without treatment options. Dr. Eastman has all of the tools and technologies needed to effectively combat any periodontal disease issues that may be plaguing you, as well as methods to stop the problem at its source. To discuss your treatment options, give us a call at (941) 792-3899 in West Bradenton or (941) 585-0869 in Lakewood Ranch.


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