Periodontal disease involves the teeth, gums and jaw bone. Periodontists primarily address conditions such as periodontitis, gingivitis and recession to ensure optimal dental health.
Introduction to Periodontal Disease
Prevention and early detection is key to avoiding periodontal disease
Periodontal disease is always best detected in early stages and is more easily treated, but in the more advanced stages of the disease, this requires more advanced surgical techniques which are most often performed by a Periodontist, and the patient is usually referred for this specialty treatment by their dentist.
Periodontal Disease affects your overall health
Gum disease leads to a deterioration of the bone that supports the teeth, leaving to widespread inflammation, infection and tooth loss, and when it reaches an advanced stage, it can contribute to heart disease, diabetes, and other inflammatory diseases. Because bacterial plaque is a leading contributor to gingivitis and periodontitis, it is important to brush and floss daily. Some people are more susceptible to gum disease and need to have the dental hygienist clean their teeth 4 times a year rather than just every 6 months. Individuals should consider seeing a Periodontist if they experience bleeding gums, halitosis, loose adult teeth, or have a noticeably receding gum line.
What is Periodontal Disease?
Periodontal disease is an invasion of bacteria that originates in a stick film called plaque, which should be removed with daily tooth brushing and flossing. Heredity, tobacco and alcohol use can influence certain bacteria to cause even more damage. The bacteria will damage soft and hard tissues and cause the gum to break loose from the teeth forming deep pockets, where even more bacteria and calcified and toxic tartar can hide out of the reach of floss and brushing and even the dental hygienist’s instruments. If left undiagnosed or treated, this disease leads to bone loss around the teeth roots and then teeth get loose and finally fall out or need to be extracted. Many patients never have pain and they dismiss the common signs of bleeding gums as normal.
Gingivitis is the first stage and is reversible by removing the tartar and improving oral hygiene.
If this stage is ignored, then bacteria forms pockets, and bone loss occurs and this stage is called Periodontitis. Now the depth of these pockets will progress and increase over time, which makes it impossible for the patient or hygienist to reach all of the plaque and tartar and thus the disease will progress until the supporting bone and teeth are lost.
Deep Clean (Scaling and Root Planing)
In a pocket range of 4 to 5 mm, it may be possible to deep clean (scaling and root planing) with local anesthetic and reduce the pocket to a manageable level with good oral hygiene and 3 to 4 month recall cleaning program with the hygienist.
Note that mouthwash and improved oral hygiene alone, without treatment, will just mask the bad breath as a temporary solution, and over time allows for more progression of advanced disease, that can go unnoticed, since gum disease rarely causes pain.
Did you know?
People who suffer from gum disease have a 40% higher chance of having another chronic health issue, and poor periodontal health can make symptoms of Heart Disease and Diabetes worse.
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Did you know?
Many patients never have pain and they dismiss the common signs of bleeding gums as normal - which is not!