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Periodontal disease is a technical term used to describe the chronic inflammation or infection of gum tissues. Every year this preventable condition afflicts the oral health of millions of Americans. In fact, the American Dental Association estimates that nearly half of people age 30 and older have some form of periodontal disease. At the same time, the Centers for Disease Control also report that 64 percent of people 65 and over have been diagnosed with moderate-to-severe periodontal disease.

Periodontal disease is often caused by hardened tartar at the gumline. The constant bacterial presence leads to the inflammation and infection of the gum tissues known as gingivitis. Common symptoms often include red or inflamed gums. Many people with gingivitis also complain about increased bleeding in their gums during regular brushing and flossing as well as problems with chronic bad breath.

Without timely treatment, gingivitis can develop into the more dangerous form of periodontal disease known as periodontitis. This degree of infection causes the gums to slowly recede from the base of your teeth, forming small pockets of bacterial infection near the roots of your teeth. In time, this can also result in the loss of bone structure, which on its own can result in the loss of an otherwise healthy tooth.

At the same time, continuing research has also found that the systemic inflammation of periodontal disease can also have an impact on other medical conditions. This can increase complications from diabetes, heart disease and chance of stroke. While periodontal disease doesn’t cause these issues, it does seem to limit treatment options and can lead to further complications.

If you are concerned that you might have developed periodontal disease in Lexington, North Carolina, you should call 336.248.5057 to schedule an appointment at Sarah E. Frye, DDS PA.