The main cause of periodontal disease is bacteria in the form of a sticky, colorless plaque that continuously forms on your teeth. However, many factors can cause periodontal disease or influence its progression. Your bone and gum tissue should fit snugly around your teeth like a turtleneck around your neck. When you have periodontal disease, this supporting tissue and bone is destroyed, forming “pockets” around the teeth. Over time, these pockets become deeper, providing a larger space for bacteria to live. As bacteria develop around the teeth, they can accumulate and advance under the gum tissue. These deep pockets collect even more bacteria, resulting in further bone and tissue loss. Eventually, too much bone is lost, and the teeth need to be extracted.
Periodontitis is common with mild to moderate forms affecting 30% to 50% of adults and the severe generalized form affecting 5% to 15% of all adults in the United States.
Dr. El Chaar will measure the depth of your pocket(s). A pocket reduction procedure will be recommended if you have pockets that are too deep to clean with daily at-index oral hygiene and a professional care routine. During this procedure, Dr. El Chaar folds back the gum tissue and removes the disease-causing bacteria before securing the tissue in place. In some cases, irregular surfaces of the damaged bone are smoothed to limit areas where disease-causing bacteria can hide. This allows the gum tissue to better re-attach to healthy bone.
Although moderate to severe periodontitis may affect systemic inflammatory and immune levels (e.g., elevated blood levels of C-reactive protein [CRP]), such changes are either not captured by current standard laboratory test panels or are interpreted as non specific indicators of a chronic, low grade, acute-phase inflammatory response. More and more studies currently are connecting the periodontal disease with cardiovascular disease as well as other chronic diseases.
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