Your gums perform an important function in your body. They protect and provide support for the teeth, as well as provide blood flow to the jaw bone and tooth structures.
Periodontal disease is a progressive disease that begins when bacteria penetrate and grow beneath the gums. As the disease spreads, gum tissue and eventually bone become infected and are destroyed. If left untreated, periodontal disease will break down enough bone and gum tissue to cause the teeth in the affected area to become loose and eventually fall out.
Common signs of periodontal disease are bleeding and swollen gums, persistent bad breath, and receding gums.
Stress, smoking and poor nutrition can be contributing factors to gum disease. Recent studies also indicate that there is a link between the bacteria that cause periodontal disease and increased risk of heart disease, stroke, and preterm low birth weight.
Early detection is the key to effective treatment of periodontal disease. If detected early through regular dental checkups, periodontal disease can often be treated with nonsurgical gum treatments supported by effective home care and medicated mouth rinses. Dr. Edwards works closely with a gum specialist, or periodontist in cases of advanced periodontal disease or extensive bone loss.