Periodontal disease can be considered any form of disease affecting the periodontium – the tissues that surround and support the teeth. Periodontal diseases are bacterial infections that destroy the attachment fibers and supporting bone that hold the teeth in the mouth. Left untreated, these diseases can lead to tooth loss. Often times, patients do not even know they have periodontal disease. The signs and symptoms do not usually cause people discomfort until the periodontal disease is in its latter stages, approaching tooth loss.
This is why it’s crucial for periodontal treatment to start as early as possible. At early stages, periodontal treatment includes oral hygiene education and deep scaling, the removal of calcified deposits or calculus. If the disease has advanced further, root planing, the cleaning of deposits on root surfaces, and surgical therapy may be necessary to correct the damage from gum disease, physically and cosmetically.
Today, the vast majority of the general public suffers some degree of periodontal (gum) disease. This disease can rapidly progress, without symptoms at times, and can often leave people at risk for tooth loss and changes in the ability to chew, speak and smile. The most common symptoms of gum disease are bleeding when brushing or eating hard foods; tenderness of the gums, bad breath (halitosis) and loose-feeling teeth.
We offer periodontal treatment that is customized to the individual’s level of disease. We believe periodontal health should be achieved in the least invasive and most cost-effective manner. Often times, this can be accomplished through non-surgical therapy, including scaling and root planning (a careful cleaning of the root surfaces to remove plaque and calculus [tartar] from deep periodontal pockets and to smooth the tooth root to remove bacterial toxins), followed by adjunctive therapy such as local delivery of antimicrobials and host modulation. Non-surgical therapy does have its limitations, however, and when periodontal health is not achieved, surgery may be indicated to ideally contour the supporting bone and gums.
Preventing Gum Disease
The best way to prevent gum disease is effective daily brushing and flossing as well as regular professional examinations and cleanings. Unfortunately, even with the most diligent home dental care, people still can develop some form of periodontal disease. Once this disease starts, professional intervention is necessary to prevent its progress.
Other important factors affecting the health of your gums include:
- Clenching and grinding teeth
- Poor nutrition