Periodontal Disease (also known as gum disease) is an inflammatory disease that causes infection in the gums, bone and surrounding structures of the teeth. All types of periodontal disease are caused by bacterial plaque and tartar/calculus build-up on the teeth and gums. If this bacteria is not removed it attacks the soft tissue around the gums and causes the gums to become red, irritated, swollen, inflammed, and often bleed. This early form of gum disease is known as gingivitis . Left untreated gingivitis can progress to peridontitis which ultimately destroys the tissue surrounding your teeth AND the bone that holds your teeth in place. Periodontitis leads to the loosening and subsequent tooth loss and/or abscess of the gums.
Periodontal disease is usually a silent disease that begins with little or no symptoms. The existence of bone destruction under the gums cannot be visually detected. Early diagnosis and treatment our your best defense. This makes it especially important to visit your dentist regularly. Noticeable symptoms do not usually appear until significant damage has already occurred. They include:
- Bleeding Gums
- Red, Tender, Puffy, or Swollen Gums
- Gum Sensitivity, Pain or Tenderness
- Itchy Sensation
- Teeth that are Lose or Shifting
- Tooth Sensitivity
- Bad Breath or Bad Taste
- Changes in Your Bite
- Changes in the Fit of Your Partial Denture or Other Dental Appliance
- Gum Recession
- Tooth Pain
- Tooth Loss
Scientific research has discovered linkage between gum disease and stroke, heart disease, diabetes - even an increased risk for pregnant women. When your gums become diseased, your entire immune system is weakened.
Periodontal Disease is a chronic condition that needs immediate attention. Regular hygiene visits are needed in order to prevent the condition from worsening. During your visit, our hygiene team will teach you the proper brushing and flossing techniques and oral hygiene protocol for home care. Regular preventative cleaning may be all that is needed for patients with gingivitis. Those with periodontitis will require more extensive treatment. Through Periodontal Therapy, usually begining with Scaling (removal of tartar and plaque from the tooth's crowns and roots) and Root Planing (smoothing of rough root surfaces to allow the gums to heal) and routine follow-up periodontal cleanings these conditions can be controlled. The dentist and hygienist may utilize additional methods depending on the severity of the periodontal disease. Periodontal Surgery my be necessary for severe cases.