What is Periodontitis

Periodontitis or “gum disease,” is characterized by chronic inflammation of the supporting structures of teeth (ie. gingiva (“gums”), bone, and connective tissue). The inflammation is triggered by bacteria, but the extent of the damage is person-specific. Predisposing factors to gum disease include genetics, smoking, stress and certain illnesses such as diabetes. Gum disease is surprisingly prevalent with an estimated 35% of the US population affected. Often it is a symptomless disease (typically no pain) however signs can include bleeding or puffy gums, loose teeth, bad breath, gum pain or shifting teeth. A thorough periodontal exam by a dentist is the only way to diagnosis this disease. 

Gum Disease and Overall Health

It used to be thought that gum disease only affected the oral cavity. We now know there are direct links between the oral cavity and overall systemic health. Studies have shown that infection in the gums results in harmful bacteria and inflammation that can spread to the rest of the body.  People with gum disease may be at an increased risk for cardiovascular disease, stroke, worsening diabetes, pre-term/low-birth weight babies, respiratory diseases and dementia. Now more then ever, it is important to have your gums checked by an oral health provider to screen for this disease.

Treatment of Gum Disease

Gum disease is treated in a variety of ways. The ultimate goals of therapy are removal of harmful bacteria and to change the oral environment that lead to gum disease in the first place. In gum disease, the gums separate from the tooth and pockets form around teeth. These pockets can harbor harmful bacteria that facilitate bone loss. Therefore, it is essential to not only remove the harmful bacteria but also reduce these pockets to eliminate the environment that these bacteria grow in. Our Doctors offer a full scope of periodontal therapies to treat each patient’s individual needs. To learn more, schedule a consultation today.






Burke Periondontics and Implant Dentistry 
10303 N. Port Washington Rd. Suite 204 | Mequon, Wisconsin 53092 | p. 262-240-9840 | f. 262-240-9842

Mequon, Grafton, Brookfield, Germantown, Menomonee Falls, Sheboygan, Thiensville, Port Washington

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