Periodontal disease (Gum Disease) is an infection of the teeth, gums and bone surrounding the teeth, primarily caused by an accumulation of plaque. Accumulated plaque hardens into tartar and calculus, which can only be removed with a dental office cleaning.
Types of Periodontal Disease
Gingivitis is a mild, often reversible form of periodontal disease that develops when the bacteria found in plaque produces toxins. These toxins irritate the gums, making them tender, swollen and likely to bleed easily.
With prolonged irritation, the gums begin to separate from the teeth resulting in the formation of pockets. This more advanced stage of periodontal disease is called Periodontitis. As the disease progresses, the supporting gum tissue and bone that holds teeth in place deteriorates. If left untreated, so much ligament and bone are destroyed that the tooth, no longer stable, becomes loose in its socket and may eventually fall out or require extraction.
- Most people who have periodontal disease arent aware if it.
- Adults over age 35 lose more teeth to gum diseases than to cavities.
- 3 out of 4 people are afflicted by periodontal disease at some point in their lives
What to Do
The best way to prevent and control periodontal disease is with early detection and treatment. This is why the team at Southern Heights Dental Group conducts thorough periodontal screening with your routine dental appointments, checking for signs of periodontal disease by measuring the depth of the spaces (pockets) between your teeth and gums. Because everyone is at risk of developing periodontal disease, everyone should be routinely tested.
If we find the pockets between your teeth and gums are deep (a sign of advancing gum disease) we may recommend a procedure called scaling and/or root planning.
Scaling involves the removal of plaque and tartar from the top of your tooth to the bottom of the pocket. Root planning is when the root surfaces of the teeth are smoothed to deter future plaque retention.
These procedures can be done in 2-4 visits, with minimal discomfort.
Routine periodontal maintenance care, along with daily brushing, flossing and regular dental cleanings can work to eliminate the progression of gum disease. Supportive periodontal treatment is the key to success.
- Crowded teeth
- Genetics (30% of people are genetically susceptible)
- Smoking or chewing tobacco
- Bridges that no longer fit properly,
- Fillings that have become defective
- Clinching or grinding your teeth
- Poor diet
- Pregnancy or use of oral contraceptives
- Systemic diseases such as diabetes
- Many medications