The term “periodontal” means “around the tooth.” Therefore, periodontal disease affects the gums and bone supporting the teeth. Gum, or periodontal, the disease can cause inflammation, tooth loss, and bone damage. The infection starts when the gums become inflamed due to bacteria in plaque, a sticky, colorless film that forms on your teeth.
What Causes Periodontal Disease?
While an infection is often the leading cause of periodontal disease, other factors can also affect the health of the gums and bone. Common factors leading to periodontal disease include smoking or tobacco use, stress, genetics, pregnancy, medications, diabetes, and poor nutrition. Our dentist recommends that patients who have modifiable lifestyle factors, such as tobacco use, stress, and poor nutrition, work to eliminate their influence on their health.
What is Periodontal Disease?
Periodontal disease comes in two forms. Gingivitis is perhaps the mildest form of gum disease. While the gums become red, swollen, and bleed easily, there is very little to no discomfort associated with this stage of the disease. Through a good oral hygiene regimen and treatment from your dentist, your dentist can reverse the results of gingivitis.
Periodontitis is another form of periodontal disease and can be aggressive or chronic. Aggressive periodontitis displays rapid bone destruction and attachment loss in clinically healthy patients. Chronic periodontitis is one of the most common forms of periodontal disease and is frequently seen in adults.
The stages progress slowly and can be recognized by gum recession and pocket formation. You cannot reverse the condition once a patient moves from gingivitis to periodontitis. However, you can reduce the symptoms with frequent dental appointments and treatment if you have periodontitis.
Treatment and Prevention
Patients that have periodontal disease undergo advanced periodontal treatment. The initial treatment is scaling and root planing. In this treatment, patients will visit Dolive DDS Family and Cosmetic Dentistry every three months for the procedure. Your dentist and hygienist will perform deep cleaning by scraping away plaque and tartar on and below the gums. One of the common dental concerns with periodontal disease is that bacteria gets stuck between the gums and the tooth in small pockets. These pockets become more profound the more periodontal disease goes untreated.
Another standard procedure is gum grafting. In a gum grafting procedure, we remove the infected portion of the gum, and a healthy donor gum is placed. Some dentists even recommend that patients receive laser treatment to minimize the effect of gum disease. Lastly, if the damage to the tooth is severe, your dentist may recommend a dental implant. One side effect of periodontal disease is that bone can be absorbed and reduced. We will replace the tooth with a dental implant. The implant will improve the function and appearance of your tooth.
How Can I Prevent Periodontal Disease?
Good oral hygiene and regular visits with your dentist and periodontist can prevent periodontal disease. Daily brushing and flossing can keep plaque to a minimum and, in conjunction with professional cleanings 2-4 times a year, can keep your teeth healthy. When brushing, the Dolive DDS Family and Cosmetic Dentistry dentists recommend that patients use a soft bristle toothbrush and low abrasive, fluoridated toothpaste. This combination is strong enough to remove bacteria and debris from your teeth without damaging your teeth’ enamel, the protective layer.
Periodontal disease can be a severe condition that can cause many dental concerns. The initial stage of periodontal disease, gingivitis, is reversible with good oral care. However at the advanced stage, periodontitis cannot be reversed. It is essential to care for your gums and teeth to help prevent these dental concerns. For more information about periodontics or to schedule an appointment, call our office.