Periodontal Treatments

Periodontal disease, which is marked by inflammation of the gum tissue, can have serious consequences for your oral health. In its most advanced stages, this condition can cause the loss of teeth and bone tissue. The rest of your body may also suffer when the uncontrolled periodontal disease is present, as this condition appears to have a relationship with systemic diseases, such as diabetes and heart disease, and it may also contribute to certain pregnancy problems. Fortunately, gum disease can be prevented. However, patients must also be diligent about monitoring their gums for signs of the disease so that they can seek treatment quickly before the disease has the opportunity to advance.

Signs And Symptoms Of Gum Disease

Gum disease is a progressive condition, with more severe symptoms emerging in the later stages of the disease. Gingivitis, an early stage infection of the gum tissue, causes redness, swelling, and bleeding in the gums. Some patients think that bleeding gums aren’t a problem if it just occurs while they are brushing or flossing, but this symptom always indicates a problem and warrants follow-up with your dentist.

As gingivitis advances into periodontitis, more significant symptoms emerge. Pockets will develop between the teeth and the gums, and the gum tissue may begin to recede. In the most severe form of periodontitis, the teeth can become loose, and they may ultimately be lost, along with bone tissue.

Gum Disease Treatment

Effective gum disease treatments are available, and they produce the best results with the least amount of discomfort for patients when treatment occurs early in the disease process. Gingivitis usually responds well to a thorough professional cleaning. When pockets have developed in the gums, more involved and invasive interventions are needed. The patient may undergo a scaling and root planing, which begins with a thorough cleaning to remove bacteria and then proceeds to eliminate rough spots on the root of the tooth where bacteria might also congregate. Antibacterial therapy may also be incorporated into scaling and root planing as an additional preventive measure.

A patient with receding gums may need surgery to graft replacement tissue to the site of recession. Another type of gum surgery, crown lengthening, is not necessarily related to gum disease but can help the teeth and gums appear proportional to each other when excess gum tissue is present.

Gum Disease Prevention

Because gum disease is caused by oral bacteria attacking the gum tissue and creating inflammation, minimizing the presence of that bacteria can help to prevent gum disease. If you brush twice each day, floss daily and see your dentist every six months for professional cleanings, you’ll be doing a lot to reduce your risk of gum disease.

If you’ve already had an episode of gum disease, it’s important to follow up with your dentist for recommended maintenance treatments and monitoring so that a relapse is less likely. Diligence about your oral hygiene regimen will also help you to avoid a subsequent episode of periodontal disease.

Common Periodontal Treatments Questions:

What is periodontal disease?

Periodontal disease, or gum disease, involves inflammation of the soft gum tissue around the tooth. Bone tissue can also be compromised in more advanced forms of the condition. When untreated, periodontal disease can ultimately lead to tooth and bone loss. In fact, periodontal disease is actually the leading cause of tooth loss in the world. There are multiple types of periodontal disease, including chronic, aggressive and necrotizing. Gum disease may also be caused by some other systemic disease, like diabetes or respiratory issues.

How can I prevent periodontal disease?

You can prevent periodontal disease by reducing the presence of oral bacteria, especially by disrupting the accumulation from plaque and tartar. A thorough daily oral hygiene routine is the foundation of gum disease prevention. Brush your teeth twice each day for two minutes at a time, and floss once a day. Adding an anti-bacterial mouthwash can also be a powerful weapon in the war against gum disease. Semi-annual professional cleanings by a dental hygienist are important supplements to your home regimen and also offer protection against gum disease. Eating a nutritious, healthy diet and avoiding smoking will also reduce your risk of gum disease.

What causes gum disease?

Inflammation is at the root of gum disease, and that inflammation occurs when bacteria attack the gum tissue. They may also attack the underlying bone in the area if the initial gum disease is not treated promptly. That bacteria is found in plaque, which will harden into tartar when patients are not practicing good oral hygiene.

What is gingivitis?

Gingivitis is a mild infection that precedes periodontitis. It causes minor inflammation in the gums and is marked by redness, swelling or bleeding in the gum tissue and may also present with bad breath or pus, which indicates the presence of infection. Gingivitis is usually treated with a thorough professional cleaning at your dentist’s office.

If you notice signs of gingivitis, it’s important to schedule an evaluation with a dentist so that you can get treatment before the condition evolves into periodontitis, which is more challenging to treat. Delaying treatment for gingivitis can lead to serious consequences for your oral health.