Periodontal Gum Disease

For many Americans 30 years old and older; the possibility of gum disease (periodontal disease) is a real and dangerous condition. The progression of gum disease can be painless, and usually going undetected until serious problems arise. While genetics may have a small role in the development of gum disease; dentists will agree that gum disease mostly directly linked to the quality of the home care people give their teeth and gums.

What are the stages of Gum Disease?

Periodontal disease occurs when there is an infection of the gums and the supporting bone. It is caused when a buildup of excess plaque around the teeth hardens and calcifies into tartar. Tartar is covered with plaque which releases toxins, which causes the first stage of the disease. This first stage is known as gingivitis. Gingivitis causes swelling inflammation and bleeding of the gums. The advanced stages of gum disease can cause the bone to dissolve. Once the bone support has been lost, teeth begin to move. As more bone is lost it can lead to tooth loss.

What are the treatments for gum disease?

There are several treatments to help with the effects of gum disease. These include deep cleaning, localized antibiotic therapy like Arestin therapy, and home care and follow up dental care. Depending on the stage of the disease, the dentist will remove diseased tissue, tartar, and plaque from the tooth’s surface, as well as below the gum line. The tooth root may have to be planed and smoothed to allow the gum tissue to heal, and depending on the amount of bone loss bone grafts may be required.

How can gum disease be prevented?

The best weapon against gum disease is early detection and good dental hygiene. We recommend brushing your teeth two times a day to help remove bacteria. This bacteria releases dangerous toxins that will cause periodontal disease. Flossing, interdental cleansing and using mouth rinse will keep your mouth free of residual food, and help reduce the number of bacteria in your mouth. A good diet and regular dental appointments will help stop the advance of gum disease, keeping your mouth healthy and you smiling.

If you have any questions about periodontal care and how it can affect your health, contact us at Westside Center for Periodontics and Implant Dentistry.