The Silent Invader: Periodontal Disease

Here is an interesting fact, according to the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention, 50% of adults in the United States are affected by periodontal disease.  Periodontal disease will silently invade your mouth and affect your overall, general health, without your knowledge.  How is this possible?  Periodontal disease starts off as gingivitis which is harmless if taken care of promptly.  Biannual check-ups at your general dentist should address this issue.  If the gingivitis isn’t properly extinguished, it will progress into periodontal disease.

It all starts by plaque build-up on the teeth.  Plaque contains bacteria that cause stress on the gingival tissue, which causes inflammation.  When the bacterium starts to eat away at the tooth and bone, it has officially progressed into periodontal disease.  This disease does not cause pain to the person it has invaded.  That is why there are so many people walking around with periodontal disease, unknowingly.

Once the bacterium from the plaque enters the bloodstream, through an act as simple as brushing your teeth, it has the same effect on the organs in your body as it does on the gingival tissue.  It causes inflammation.  The bacteria can have serious effects on your liver, gut, cardiovascular system, and if pregnant, the fetus.  The entire immune system can be compromised due to periodontal disease.

Never fear, Dr. Nemeth & Associates are here to help! Despite periodontal disease being a silent invader there are subtle ways to know if your mouth has been occupied.

Bleeding Gums:  The first thing to look for is bleeding gums.  After brushing and flossing your teeth you shouldn’t see any blood because healthy gums don’t bleed.  If you see signs of blood this could be a very early sign of gingivitis.

Bad Breath:  Many people think that bad breath comes from the foods they eat; this can be influential but not the main cause of the malodor.  Halitosis is caused from bacteria build up on the tongue.  The presence of plaque on the teeth is one element that causes bacteria build up and can be the start of the disease process.

Receding Gums & Sensitive Teeth: Usually the first thought associated with sensitivity is tooth decay.  This is not always accurate.  One effect of periodontal disease is receding gums.  When the gums recede the root of the tooth is exposed leaving dentin susceptible to bacteria and extreme temperatures.  Very cold foods and beverages can have a severe affect on the dentin and exposed root.  Without the protection of hard enamel there is no line of defense against these intense temperatures.

Loose Teeth:  We already know that periodontal disease causes receding gums.  Two things happen when gums recede.  Bone is lost and the gum tissue becomes very thin.  Bone and gingival tissue are two components that hold the teeth in place; when lacking these two essential elements teeth start to move and become lose; there are large gaps in the teeth due to movement.

Now you are fully equipped to stay on the look-out for early signs of periodontal disease.  In any case, if you have questions about periodontal disease or think you may need to be seen for an evaluation, do not hesitate to call our office (248) 357-3100, to schedule a new patient consultation.  For more information visit our website at


The content on this blog is not intended to be a substitute for professional medical advice, diagnosis, or treatment. Always seek the advice of qualified health providers with questions you may have regarding medical conditions.