Let’s talk about periodontal disease, the truth and the misconceptions.
Here’s a misconception. You or your dentist missed something, so as a result, you now have a disease. Could that be true? Only if you believe that people get heart attacks because their doctors miss something or people get cancer because their doctors miss something, or asthma or Alzheimer’s, etc.
The fact is periodontal disease falls into a class of diseases known as chronic degenerative disease. Chronic means that it’s continuing. Degenerative means that it’s breaking down something. And that’s what’s happening. The critical attachment fibers between your teeth and your bone are breaking down.
Here are some of the factors that cause periodontal disease.
Bacterial plaque: That’s the soft bacteria that grows on teeth. It’s there whether we eat or not. Its your job to remove the plaque and the better you do your job, the better the control of this factor of the disease.
Calculus: That’s hardened plaque that migrates below the gum line. It’s rough and accumulates more plaque, causing more loss of bone support. Why? The bone (a living tissue) doesn’t want to be anywhere near the plaque and calculus.
Genetics: People are genetically predisposed to certain diseases. But genetic predisposition does not mean genetic expression. If you do good things for yourself, you likely won’t get the disease.
Smoking: Yes, we do see that more smokers have periodontal disease than nonsmokers by a wide margin. A recent study shows that the most periodontally damaging bacteria flourish in the mouth of a smoker.
So you see, it isn’t just one factor that causes periodontal disease and therefore the best treatment for the disease addresses all of the above factors.
With the right combination of diagnosis, coaching and professional care, you can save your teeth. The earlier you do it, the better the opportunity.