What is periodontal disease?
Periodontal disease occurs when an infection of the gum and/or bone surrounds the tooth. Because the disease is painless, most patients aren’t aware that they have a problem until examined by a dentist.
With a healthy tooth, the root is formed in the jawbone with a strong ligament. This keeps the tooth tightly attached to the bone. Gum protects the bone from bacterial constantly present in the mouth. When healthy, the gum edge is higher than the fiber attachment. In turn, a space is formed around the tooth. This mirrors having a turtleneck sweater.
We all have bacteria in our saliva continuously. When these bacteria collect on all surfaces, plaque forms. If the plaque in the space underneath the gum edge is not removed, infection may occur. The longer that plaque remains on a tooth, the more problems it can cause. Once it hardens, it becomes what’s known as tartar and must be dislodged by a dental professional.