Periodontal Gum Disease
Nearly all who do not maintain good daily oral hygiene will develop gingivitis. If left untreated, this bacterial gum infection can progress from gingivitis to periodontitis, which results in bone loss around your teeth. As the bone tissue is lost, the gum tissues detach from the teeth and form little pockets that provide an even better place for bacteria to live ' where your brush and floss can't reach. As periodontal disease advances, bone loss and tooth loss can result. Part of this has to do with genetics, as periodontal disease tends to run in families. The good news is that periodontal disease can be controlled, even at more advanced stages.
Signs and Symptoms of Gum Disease
It's important to understand that you can have periodontal disease with no obvious symptoms, especially if you smoke. Still, there are some important things to look for:
- Bleeding gums
- Bad breath
- Redness or swelling of the gums
- Receding gums
- Periodontal abscess
- Loose teeth
Periodontal Treatment Options
All periodontal therapy starts with the evaluation of your oral hygiene techniques and instructions for improvement, followed by the mechanical removal of plaque and any calcified deposits (tartar or calculus) present on root surfaces. This is accomplished with a cleaning technique known as scaling, root planing or debridement using hand instruments and/or ultrasonic (high frequency vibrational) instruments. Locally applied antimicrobial products or antibiotics might also be recommended during various parts of periodontal treatment to assist in healing and pocket-depth reduction, hopefully eliminating the need for periodontal surgery.
Sometimes surgical procedures may be necessary to remove the deep pockets that form between inflamed gum tissue and teeth. There are many different types of surgery that handle a variety of problems. Often, combinations of procedures are used in order to reduce the number of surgeries as well as the cost of treatment.
Preventive Strategies The best way to prevent periodontal disease is to brush and floss your teeth effectively every day. Regular dental checkups and professional cleanings every 6 months are also an important part of maintaining periodontal health; we can reach into areas that your toothbrush and floss can't.
We can also detect early forms of gum disease by evaluating your gingival (gum) tissues, both visually and by examining their attachment levels to the teeth. We can assess the health of your tooth-supporting bone by taking dental x-rays. Schedule an appointment today to keep your whole mouth healthy.