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The American Dental Association reports that chronic periodontitis (advanced gum disease) affects 47 percent of U.S. adults who are older than 30. This means that nearly half of U.S. adults are at serious risk for losing the tissue and bone that support their teeth. And, of course, if the support structure is gone, then the teeth are lost.

Periodontitis is an insidious disease: A patient can seem fairly healthy, but meanwhile, this aggressive disease is quietly being destructive. It typically worsens slowly, though it can have rapid periods of progression.

Dr. Nicholas and her team of specialists want you to understand that periodontitis occurs when there is a breakdown in the seal between the gum and the tooth. This infiltrated seal allows bacteria to invade and eventually destroy part of the jawbone that anchors the teeth.

Gum tissue that naturally forms a seal around the tooth breaks down due to bacteria that have contaminated the tooth’s surface. And if there is any contamination on the tooth’s surface, the gum tissue will not seal against the tooth. When this problem occurs, the jawbone and root of the tooth are vulnerable to bacterial invasions.

If the bone loss around your teeth becomes severe, it may not be possible to save all the teeth. But Dr. Nicholas and her team of specialists are happy to inform you that treatment can stop the bone loss. And some bone regeneration may be possible.

It’s also important to note that some studies have suggested that advanced gum disease may very well be associated with many other health conditions, such as cardiovascular diseases, diabetes and some systemic diseases.

Dr. Nicholas is a well-known dentist, but she is also a celebrated periodontist. A periodontist is a highly trained dentist who has a depth of knowledge about gum tissue diseases and treatments. Our office would like you to know that a board-certified periodontist like Dr. Nicholas is the most qualified dental professional to assess your condition and to determine the best treatment for managing periodontal disease.

If you’d like to learn more about how you can protect your oral health from advanced periodontal disease, please contact Dr. Anne Nicholas and her team of specialists who are serving Palm Desert, La Quinta, Indian Wells, Rancho Mirage and the surrounding areas of the Coachella Valley at the Palm Desert Center for Advanced Periodontics, Cosmetic, Sedation and Implant Dentistry. They can be reached by phone at 760-851-0314 or at their office in Palm Desert, California.