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One of the most prevalent ailments we treat in our office is periodontal disease. Since this sickness can do so much damage to your teeth and gums, you should know what causes it and how to thwart it.

Gum disease, also known as pyorrhea and periodontal disease, is an infection of the gums that causes damage to and threatens your pearly whites when left untreated. The words “periodontal disease” can apply to different levels of the disease, like gingivitis, periodontitis, aggressive periodontitis and chronic periodontitis.

The effects of gum disease might differ depending on the intensity of the infection. In gingivitis, the gums might bleed and be uncomfortable. In periodontitis, infection and resulting inflammation of the gums will cause acids-filled pouches to form around the pearly whites and gums. These sacks of bacterial acids can break down and damage the chompers, gums and bones.

And gum disease can extend past just the mouth. Some studies have found associations between gum disease and heart diseases, premature birth, rheumatoid arthritis and dementia. These links are perhaps caused by bacteria from the infected gums traveling into the bloodstream and crucial organs. Inflammation in periodontal disease may also be responsible for some of the links to other disorders.

By doing the straightforward things like eating foods lower in sugar, brushing twice daily and flossing once daily, you can decrease your risk of forming gum disease. To keep your pearly whites strong and gum-disease-free, please schedule your next visit with our Michael Lemme DDS office in Oak Harbor, Washington, by calling 360-675-3334 today.