Periodontal diseases areinfections of the gums, which gradually destroy the support of your natural teeth. There are numerous disease entities requiringdifferent treatment approaches. Dental plaque is the primary cause of gumdisease in genetically susceptible individuals. Daily brushing and flossingwill prevent most periodontal conditions.

Why is oral hygiene so important?

Adults over 35 lose moreteeth to gum diseases, (periodontal disease) than from cavities. Three out offour adults are affected at some time in their life. The best way to preventcavities and periodontal disease is by good tooth brushing and flossingtechniques, performed daily.

Periodontal disease and decayare both caused by bacterial plaque. Plaque is a colorless film, which sticksto your teeth at the gum line. Plaque constantly forms on your teeth. Bythorough daily brushing and flossing you can remove these germs and helpprevent periodontal disease.

Periodontal diseases can beaccelerated by a number of different factors. However, it is mainly caused bythe bacteria found in dental plaque, a sticky colorless film that constantlyforms on your teeth. If not carefully removed by daily brushing and flossing,plaque hardens into a rough, porous substance known as calculus (or tartar).

Other important factors affectingthe health of your gums include:

· Smoking

· Diabetes

· Stress

· Clenching and grinding teeth

· Medication

· Poor nutrition

Periodontal Disease

Bacteria found in plaqueproduces toxins or poisons that irritate the gums, which may cause them to turnred, swell and bleed easily. If this irritation is prolonged, the gums separatefrom the teeth, causing pockets (spaces) to form. As periodontal diseasesprogress, the supporting gum tissue and bone that holds teeth in placedeteriorate. If left untreated, this leads to tooth loss.

Preventing Gum Disease

The best way to prevent gumdisease is effective daily brushing and flossing aswell as regular professional examinations and cleanings. Unfortunately, evenwith the most diligent home dental care, people still can develop some form ofperiodontal disease. Once this disease starts, professional intervention isnecessary to prevent its progress.