Gum Disease

What is Gum Disease?

Periodontal disease or gum disease is an infection of the tissues and bones that surround youth teeth and hold them in place. Gum disease is typically caused by improper or inconsistent brushing and flossing habits.

When your teeth are not brushed and flossed properly a sticky film of bacteria, known as plaque, is allowed to accumulate on your teeth and harden. When plaque hardens it forms into a substance known as calculus or tartar. Once calculus has formed it can only be professionally removed with ultrasonic tools or specialized dental instruments. 

The bacteria that is allowed to accumulate on your teeth will produce toxins that irritate the gums and cause the gum tissue to break down. If the bacteria is allowed to make its way below the gums, it will begin attacking the bone that supports your teeth. Without the support of health bones and gum tissue, you teeth will become infected and eventually fall out. If gum disease is severe, it may require surgery.

Gum disease is the leading cause of tooth loss.

Gum Disease Symptoms

It may be difficult to detect gum disease in its ealry stages, that is why regular dental check-ups and dental cleanings are so important. At clinic`, our dental professionals have the tools and experience necessary to detect gum disease in its earliest stages so you can get the treatment you need before it develops into a more serious problem. 

For cases of mild gum disease, symptoms may include:

  • Swollen, tender gums
  • Redness in the gums
  • Gums that bleed easily when brushing or flossing
  • Pain while chewing
  • Sensitivity in the teeth and gums

In more severe cases of gum disease symptoms may include:

  • Bad breath that won't go away
  • Pus forming from the gums
  • Gums that recede (pull away) from the teeth
  •  Loose teeth
  • A difference in how your teeth fit together when you bite

Stages of Gum Disease

Gum disease begins with improper or inconsistent oral hygiene. Gum disease begins with the allowance of plaque and bacteria to accumulate along your teeth and gum line. This plaque and bacteria would otherwise be easily removed daily with regular brushing and flossing. The longer the bacteria is permitted to multiply and attack you oral health the more havoc it will cause. Below we have listed the three stages of gum disease.

Gingivitis - As the earliest stage of gum disease, gingivitis occurs when the gums become inflamed due to a buildup of plaque along the gumline. Plaque is a sticky and colorless film of bacteria that secretes toxins which irritate the gum tissues and causes tooth decay. At this stage, bleeding is common during brushing and flossing due to the irritated gum tissue. 

Gingivits is reversible as the bone and connective tissue supporting the teeth have not been affected yet.

Periodontisis - If the plaque/calculus and bacteria are left to irritate the gums, the gums will pull away from the teeth forming dental pockets. These dental pockets pose an even bigger threat as the bacteria has now forced itself below the protective barrier of the gumline to gain access to the tissue and bone structure supporting your teeth. 

With proper treatment such as scaling/planing and regular dental cleanings at clinic` in `, periodontisis can be controlled to prevent further damage. 

Advanced Periodontitis - In the final stage of gum disease, bacteria has been allowed to attack the connective tissues and fibers as well as the bone supporting the teeth. This can cause the teeth to shift affecting your bite. The teeth may also loosen and fall out. Teeth that have become severely infected may need to be removed.

With regular check-ups and professional dental cleanings at clinic` in `, early stages of gum disease can be treated before a more serious condition is allowed to develop. More serious stages of gum disease must be treated by a dental professional such as name` at clinic` to prevent further health problems.

Gum disease has also been linked to diabetes, cardiovascular disease, osteoporosis, respiratory disease and cancer. 

Gum Disease Treatment

name` at clinic` is dedicated to guranteeing your smile will remain healthy enough to last a life time. Regular brushing, flossing and rinsing is imperative to maintaining your oral health. Plaque is colorless and must be removed daily with proper and consistent oral hygiene to prevent damage to your teeth and gums.

For mild cases of gingivitis, a professional dental cleaning at clinic` will allow you to gain control of the situation, reverse the damage, and better understand how the plaque and tartar has affected your teeth. You will need to continue proper and consistent oral hygiene at home to remove everyday plaque.

Plaque that has hardened into calculus or tartar can only be removed by a dental professional such as name` at clinic`.

To remove tartar both above and below the gumline, name` or a dental hygienist at clinic`, will use professional tools to clean your teeth and prevent further damage. This procedure is called 'scaling'.

If your gum disease is more severe, name` at clinic` may decide to perform a root planing procedure to smooth out any irregularities along to tooth roots to make it more difficult for plauqe to get a foothold. 

name` may choose to prescribe an antimicrobial mouthwash such as Peridex to treat gingivitis. This will help to reduce the amount of bacteria in your mouth and will also help to treat the redness/swelling  and bleeding of the gums when you brush and floss. Peridex is used like a regular mouthwash.

For more severe forms of gum disease, name` at clinic` may choose to place antisecptics or antibiotics inside the gum pockets to control and reduce the size of the periodontal pockets. Depending on the severity of your gum disease, name` may recommend a professional dental cleaning about every 3 months as part of your periodontal treatment.

In the most severe form of gum disease, surgery may be required to remove tartar deposits in deep gum pockets or to surgically reduce the size of periodontal pockets in order to make it easier for both the patient and dental professional to keep the area free from bacteria. 

Gum Disease Prevention

Gum disease is easily prevented with proper and consistent oral hygiene. If you are unsure how to properly brush, floss and rinse one of our dental professionals at clinic` will be more than happy to show you how. Don't hesistate to ask! It's your health!

Regular dental check-ups and profesional dental cleanings are recommended about every 6 months. Dental professionals at clinic`  have the knowledge and the tools necessary to detect oral health issues which may not be seen with the naked eye. Early detection is key to treating minor issues before the become more severe health risks. 

Treating minor oral health problems will cost less than treating an issue which has be allowed to develop into a more serious problem.

Smoking suppresses the immune system and reduces the body's ability to fight infections. Tobacco smoke and nicotine cause the blood vessels to constrict which prevent the gum tissue from receiving the oxygen and nutrients it needs to stay healthy. 

Aside from the many hazzards smoking causes to your general health, smoking is one of the most significant factors in the development of gum disease. Patients who smoke also lower their chances for successful gum disease treatment. 

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