What Is Periodontal Disease? by Plano, TX dentists Dr. Stephen Bass and Dr. Ellen Hall

What Is Periodontal Disease?

A lot of our patients come in having periodontal disease, and they're not sure what it is. Do they have a family history of it? Have their parents lost their teeth at an early age? Have they been in dentures? What we tell patients is periodontal disease is a bacterial infection. But you have to be genetically susceptible to it.

Periodontal disease is actually both a disease and an infection. It's caused by an accumulation of bacteria below the gum line. But it's also a disease from the standpoint that it's affected by genetics, it's affected by an individual's immune system, also it's affected by frequency of care or lack of care over a period of time. Ultimately, what per periodontal disease causes is a lost bone and soft tissue around the teeth. This can lead to tooth loosening, this can lead to uncomfortable chewing, shifting of teeth, and eventually can lead to tooth loss.

Patients that have a genetic susceptibility to periodontal disease may also have other diseases combined with this, such as diabetes, cardiovascular disease, or heart disease. And that can influence the outcome of their treatment.