The best way to treat periodontal problems is to prevent them. Your personalized "check up" helps to protect you against gum disease (periodontal disease and gingivitis), tooth decay, and stress-related conditions such as teeth grinding and TMJ.
During your visit, we will examine your mouth for signs of periodontal disease. Early diagnosis and treatment is very important for your dental and overall health.
Periodontal disease or gum disease is an infection of bone and the supporting structures of your teeth. It is estimated that 80% of the adult population has gum disease to one degree or another.
Periodontal bacteria can cause an inflammatory reaction which leads to the destruction of the tissue that connect teeth to bone. This tissue loss can create a space called a periodontal pocket. While everyone has some amount of pocketing, normal depths are 1 to 3 mm. Daily brushing and flossing will help keep these pockets clean. However, in situations of periodontal disease, the pockets are deeper than 3 mm and it is impossible for you to clean and maintain them. As a result, bacteria and debris exist at the bottom of the pocket which leads to chronic gum infection.
As we age, we become more susceptible to periodontal bacteria and lack of proper hygiene or cleaning is another reason for periodontal disease. Without treatment, teeth will lose enough support to become loose and painful and eventually will be lost.
Periodontal disease affects your entire body!
Chronic gum infection, and especially inflammation, affects all organ systems. Recent peer reviewed studies show individuals with chronic periodontal disease increase the risk of stroke, developing heart disease, and diabetes by two or threefold. Other problems include gastric ulcers, osteoporosis and pre term babies.
The only way to prevent problems like these from occurring is to care for your gums.
Stages of periodontal disease
Gingivitis is an early stage of gum disease. Gums become tender, swollen and likely to bleed. This generally can be stopped with proper oral hygiene and treatment from your dentist.
At the moderate stage of gum disease, the gums deteriorate and begin detaching themselves from the teeth forming gum pockets, which allows plaque to collect below the gum line. This causes tooth roots to become susceptible to decay.
This is an advanced stage of gum tissue and bone loss. Teeth become loose and may even need to be extracted. This causes difficulties in normal everyday chewing and biting. If advanced periodontal disease is left untreated, patients run the risk of other serious health problems.
Periodontal treatments for gum disease
Scaling is necessary when plaque and tartar are detected at or below the gum line. Plaque and tartar are then scraped off the tooth’s crown and root.
In many cases, the tooth’s surface is smoothed by root planing after scaling.
Antibiotics or irrigation with anti-microbials (chemical agents or mouth rinses) may also be required to help control the growth of bacteria that create toxins and cause periodontitis.
Often gum tissues around the necks of the teeth recede due to periodontal disease, genetically thin tissue, or aggressive oral hygiene. As a result of recession, tooth roots often become sensitive to cold. We can perform a variety of periodontal tissue augmentation procedures which can cover sensitive or unaesthetic root exposures. In addition to improving aesthetics, tissue grafting procedures provide a thicker band of tissue around the necks of treated teeth which improves long-term prognosis.