Patients of various age groups get diagnosed with periodontal disease daily, but few truly understand what this means. American Dental Association defines periodontal disease as inflammation of the gums that, if severe, can lead to the loss of the tissues that hold our teeth together. There are two categories of periodontal disease: Gingivitis and Periodontitis. Gingivitis is when there is an increased buildup of plaque on the teeth, resulting in inflammation and bleeding of the gingival tissue. Periodontitis is the gingival tissue’s inflammation and the bone breakdown in the oral cavity. While gingivitis is reversible, periodontitis is a chronic disease that should be stabilized with the help of dental professionals and a good home care regime. It is important to understand this information to play a vital role throughout the preventive journey of your oral health with your dental professionals.

Periodontal disease is affected by plaque/tartar buildup, a poor home care regime, irregular dental hygiene visits, poor nutrition, smoking, systemic diseases, and even a strong genetic predisposition. Symptoms of periodontal disease include, but are not limited to, the following: Inflammation, bleeding, recession, halitosis (bad breath), periodontal pockets/measurements, mobility of our dentition, change of occlusion, pain/discomfort when chewing, missing dentition, sensitivity, etc. This disease can be prevented by visiting a preventative dental specialist, or a dental hygienist, regularly and developing a home care routine that will help to stabilize your oral health.

Healthy gingival tissue does not bleed; it appears pink and firm, pocket depths are between 1-3mm, and tartar/plaque buildup is prevented through a specialized dental homecare routine. An individual who does not have a thorough homecare routine and does not floss regularly will experience bleeding and inflamed gingival tissue or gingivitis. If plaque continues to build up, the patient will experience further attachment loss (deeper pockets [4mm or greater], recession, bone loss, mobility of dentition, etc.) and periodontitis.

At Nevins Dental Center, the dental professionals strive to prevent/stabilize periodontal disease and help increase the longevity of our patient’s dentition. We look forward to helping you achieve a healthy smile!

Evangelia Ventouris headshotAbout the author: Evangelia is one of three dental hygienists at Nevins Dental Center located in Boston. She is passionate about raising awareness of the importance of overall dental health, having a thorough and personalized home care routine, tips on techniques, and procedures offered at Nevins Dental Center. Evangelia enjoys providing individualized dental care and educating patients. To schedule an appointment at Boston’s best dental office, call our office at: 617-720-0285.