Periodontal Disease Tustin: Dr. Guyot talks about periodontal diseases.
What Exactly Is Periodontal Disease?

In simplest terms, periodontal disease is the disease of gum tissues. General periodontal disease includes the breakdown of the structures that support the teeth. There are several phases in periodontal disease, ranging from mild gingivitis up to severe periodontal disease. Dr. Guyot uses x-rays and periodontal charting to diagnose the precise nature and extent of a patientís periodontal condition.

Periodontal diseases have a genetic component and a nutritional component. Therefore, proper nutrition can help to curb periodontal disease in many cases. Oral hygiene too is critical in the prevention of periodontal disease.

Periodontal disease is a host / immune response. That means that we have bacteria that live in our mouth and our bodies respond and interact with those bacteria. This can be relatively benign, or it can actually become a disease process.

Gingivitis is a mild inflammation of the gums that manifests itself with red, puffy tissue that will usually bleed with a periodontal exam. The patient may also notice bleeding when brushing or flossing. If left untreated, gingivitis can progress to early periodontal disease. This is when the bone supporting the tooth structure begins to deteriorate. Bone is a living tissue that needs a safe environment to live in.

At first the tissues try to fight the bacterial infection, this is why the tissues inflame. When the inflammation becomes chronic the body realizes that it can no longer hold off or fight the infection, the tissues actually starts to defend itself by retreating. The bone starts to retreat and deteriorates, causing the pockets to become deeper. This causes the bacteria to become more aggressive and starts a cycle where the bones begin to deteriorate more and more quickly.

Then the patient can graduate from mild periodontal disease with four or five millimeters pockets to a moderate periodontal disease with six or seven millimeters pockets. It can even go on to severe periodontal disease with seven millimeters and above. The disease will start to progress quickly with time if left unchecked. By the time the patient gets to seven or eight millimeters pockets, he or she may be only left with the option of periodontal surgery to save the teeth. That is what happens when periodontal disease is left unchecked.
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