You can have a healthy smile that will last a lifetime with
proper care. This means thorough daily brushing, cleaning
between teeth and regular checkups to avoid tooth decay and
Most people know that tooth decay can result in tooth loss if
not treated. But for adults, it is periodontal (gum) diseases that
are a major cause of tooth loss.
"Periodontal" comes from two Greek words that mean "around
the tooth." Healthy gum tissue and bone form the supporting
foundation of each tooth.
Periodontal diseases are caused by bacterial infections that
attack gums, ligaments and bone. Although the body has some
natural defenses that resist bacterial attacks, these may not fully
protect gum and bone tissues from inflammation and infection.
There are several kinds of periodontal disease. Often painless,
these diseases may develop slowly or progress quite rapidly.
And they can occur at any age. Unless you have regular dental
checkups, including a periodontal exam, you may not be aware
you have a problem until your gums and bone have been