Almost 80% of grown up people in the US are estimated to be suffering from some form of periodontal (gum) disease. It ranges from mild inflammation of gums to a serious infection that can cause loss of teeth. Seeking effective preventive measures and timely periodontal treatment can reduce or eliminate this threat to oral health.
Since Periodontal disease is harmless and rarely presents with symptoms such as pain it can go unnoticed for years until it finally causes bone breakdown and loosening and movement of teeth. We highly recommend you see a dentist as soon as possible when you notice such symptoms.
Bacteria are the main culprits in causing gum diseases. They, in combination with mucus and other particles (food particles mostly), deposit plaque on the teeth. While regular brushing and flossing can remove plaque, it may get hardened to form tartar. Brushing cannot remove tartar. Bacteria harboured in the tartar cause the periodontal disease. Medical conditions like diabetes and habits such as smoking accelerate progression of gum disease much quicker than otherwise.
Gingivitis is the inflammation of gums caused by bacteria. Symptoms of gingivitis include:
Gingivitis is a mild disease of gums and does cause loss of bone or tissue. Regular brushing, flossing, and cleaning cure gingivitis effectively.
Gingivitis not treated can develop into inflammation around the tooth, called Periodontitis. The body’s immune system reacts to the spreading bacteria by producing toxins and enzymes to do away with the infection. These chemicals act on bones, gums, and connective tissue and wear them down. Eventually teeth become too loose and need to be removed.
Some people are genetically more prone to get periodontal disease. Besides, people experiencing any of the following conditions are more vulnerable to periodontal disease.
Three main types of treatment are given for periodontal disease:
Deep cleaning involves removal of plaque by scaling and root planning. Scaling scrapes off the tartar from around the gum line. Root planning removes rough spots on the tooth root (the den of germs) and also removes disease-causing bacteria.
Medication can be used along with deep cleaning and root planning. Well known kinds of medications and their uses are:
If deep cleaning and medication fail to relive the symptoms of periodontal disease, surgery may be performed. Two procedures are involved in surgical treatment: flap surgery and grafting of bones and tissue.
Flap surgery works by lifting back the gums and the removing tartar deposits from inside of deep pockets. It reduces the pocket and keeps the area clean. The lifted tissue is then made to fit comfortably around the tooth.
Grafting replaces or encourages new growth of bone or gum tissue that is destroyed by gum disease. Success of grafting varies from case to case depending on the individual’s exposure to risk factors like smoking, illnesses etc.
At our clinic you’ll always find friendly, professional staff that will go out of there way to ensure your visit to the dentist is a happy one!