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What is Periodontal Disease

Periodontal disease involves the structures that support the teeth, not the actual teeth themselves. Dentists in New Brunswick who specialize in periodontal disease treat the gums, jawbones, portions of the face, cementum, or active layer of the surface of the tooth root, and the connective tissues of the mouth, in order to keep all of these tissues healthy and functional. Periodontists often surgically install implants, because their proper application requires good gum and bone tissue health and healing.

closeup of woman's teeth

What Causes Periodontal Disease

Periodontal disease often revolves around problems with the gingiva or gums. Gums are made up of the soft tissue that surrounds and supports the teeth. They provide a seal and cushion between the teeth and the bones of the jaws. They are tightly adhered to both jaw and teeth unless there is a problem. This tight seal keeps the teeth in place and seals the underlying bone from foreign debris and bacteria.

Gums should be coral in color, although they can be tinted by an individual’s natural body pigmentation. Redness and swelling indicate inflammation, which is the body’s main warning sign of trouble brewing. Periodontists are trained to treat this inflammation to prevent further disease. Gum disease directly impacts the comfort, health, and function of the mouth.

Additional Problems

Cementum involves the outer layer of the teeth that exists below the gum line, around the root of the tooth. It is a calcified tissue. It is important because, rather than being relatively dormant, the cementum is active tissue, in a constant state of repair. When the dentin, or inner material of the tooth, and the cementum don’t match up, tooth sensitivity can result. Cementum can have a variety of problems, including eroding or becoming abraded as the gums recede due to age or trauma, and tooth decay can result.

The bones of the jaw, or alveolar bones, can harbor a variety of problems. Tooth and gum disease can spread to the jaw when very severe. Trauma of the mouth can potentially involve all of the structures, and ensuring the health and stability of the jaw is literally the foundation for the health of the teeth and gums. Also, the jaw shape directly impacts the way the teeth align.

Connective tissues are responsible for holding the teeth to the gums and the gums to the jaw. These are also taken into account when managing periodontal health and disease. They help keep food from being trapped, which in turn helps to control plaque growth.

Periodontal disease can be disastrous for dental health, and a periodontal specialist is equipped to help prevent or treat severe disease, to keep it from doing further damage.

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