UNDERSTANDING PERIODONTAL DISEASE
Periodontal disease is caused by the bacteria in plaque and tartar left on the teeth. In the earliest and mildest form of gum disease, gingivitis, the bacteria causes the gums to become red and inflamed. They may bleed easily.
If left untreated, gingivitis can progress to periodontitis. At this stage, the gum tissue starts to pull away from the teeth, forming spaces or pockets that can harbor more bacteria. The pockets may become infected and the plaque can spread beneath the gum line. The body responds to these toxins by breaking down the bone and soft tissue holding the teeth in place. In the most aggressive cases, the bones, gums and tissue supporting the teeth are destroyed and the teeth loosen and fall out.
SIGNS AND SYMPTOMS OF GUM DISEASE
- Gum disease can cause any of the following symptoms:
- Red or swollen gums
- Bleeding gums
- Pain when chewing
- Persistent bad breath
- Receding gums
- Teeth that appear longer
- Loose teeth
- Tooth sensitivity
If you experience any of these symptoms, we encourage you to schedule an exam with our team. We will go over your medical history and risk factors that could contribute to gum disease. If your gums have started to pull away from your teeth and form pockets, those pockets will be measured. X-rays may be taken to look for bone loss.
MANAGING AND TREATING PERIODONTAL DISEASE
Our team will determine the appropriate course of treatment based on the nature and extent of the disease. Our goal is to control the infection and minimize its ramifications. We offer non-surgical methods of removing plaque deposits from the teeth and gumline to reduce swelling and prevent further damage. Additionally, we can smooth out rough spots of the tooth root, which are common places for bacteria to accumulate.
Getting into a regular rotation for cleanings is key, and any treatment should be combined with good at-home oral hygiene, including daily brushing and flossing.