By looking at the kinds of bacteria in your mouth under the microscope, we can tell in a few minutes whether you’re infected with high risk bacteria much earlier than was possible a few years ago. Until recently, there weren’t any tests capable of detecting early periodontal (gum) infections. X-rays could detect bone loss and periodontal probing could measure tissue loss, but only after the destruction had occurred.
Periodontal diseases are caused by specific types of bacteria. If you’re infected, the inflammation slowly destroys gums and supporting bone. More teeth are now lost to periodontal disease than to tooth decay! Studies show that over 80% of the population has some form of periodontal disease. But, because it’s usually painless, most people aren’t aware they have it. You should also know that periodontal disease is contagious. If you’re infected, there’s a high chance that those close to you, including children may also be infected.