Periodontal disease or gum disease is an infection of the tissues around the teeth. When plaque builds up in the sulcus (the small crevice between the gums and the surface of the tooth), bacteria begins to damage these tissues and wear away their connection to the tooth. Eventually, the sulcus begins to detach from the tooth and form a pocket. This pocket continues to grow until the disease is tended to. As the pocket gets larger, the disease gets more severe and generally harder to clean and eventually treat.
In the more mild stages, periodontal disease is categorized as gingivitis and only affects the gums. In time, the disease becomes irreversible and ultimately more harmful. This severe stage of periodontal disease is called periodontitis.
Learn more about Periodontal Disease:
- What are Symptoms of Periodontal Disease?
- Evaluation of Bone Loss
- The Effects of Periodontal Disease on the Body
- Treatment of Periodontal Disease
Periodontal disease is the most common of the many factors that can cause gum recession. When you visit your dentist concerning recession of your gum, one of the first procedures Dr. Mishaan will perform is a measurement of the amount of gum recession. The easiest and most common way to measure gum recession is by use of a periodontal probe. It evaluates in a painless way the pressed potential space between a tooth and the surrounding tissue. The main purpose of a periodontal probe is to measure pocket depths around a tooth in order to establish the state of health of the gums. The average, healthy pocket depth is around 3 mm with no bleeding upon probing. Depths greater than 3 mm can be associated with receding gums and loss of attachment to the teeth.
Dr. Mishaan is an advocate of frequent brushing and flossing to avoid periodontal disease (PD). However, even with proper dental hygiene, other factors may cause the development of PD. If you think you might have PD, the first step is to schedule an appointment with Dr. Mishaan as soon as possible.