Periodontal and Gum Disease Therapy
Periodontal disease refers to a range of conditions ranging from gum inflammation to severe inflammation that damages the bone and tissue that support your teeth.
Periodontal disease can result in gum recession, tooth mobility, and even tooth loss. The inflammation is caused by your body’s immune response to the certain types of bacteria in the plaque film that accumulates on your teeth. Periodontal disease is classified by the seriousness of the disease; the two major categories are gingivitis and periodontitis.
Periodontitis often goes untreated because it may not cause pain. However, gum disease is linked to increased risk for major overall health problems, including but not limited to: stroke, heart disease, respiratory problems, osteoporosis, diabetes complications, and others.
Many conditions can affect the health of your gums. Some of the most common conditions affection gum disease are smoking, hormonal changes, diabetes, cancer, AIDS, saliva-reducing medications, and genetics.
Although periodontal disease is not curable, it can be maintained by regular periodontal cleanings. Most patients start with scaling and root planing followed with periodontal therapy every 3-4 months.
With active periodontal therapy, many patients notice improved health. Regular treatment helps reduce inflammation and the formation of bad bacteria below the gum line.
Bacteria in your mouth, forms a sticky film on your teeth called ‘plaque’. Brushing and flossing helps to remove much of the plaque. The plaque that is not removed can harden and form ‘calculus’ or ‘tartar’. Plaque and tartar can cause inflammation of the gums called gingivitis. With gingivitis, the gums become red, swollen and bleed easily. Gingivitis is a mild form of gum disease that can usually be reversed with daily brushing and flossing, and regular cleaning by a dentist or dental hygienist.
With periodontitis, gums pull away from the teeth and form spaces (called “pockets”) that become infected. The body’s immune system fights the bacteria as the plaque spreads and grows below the gum line. Bacterial toxins and the body’s natural inflammatory response to infection break down the bone and connective tissue that hold teeth in place.
If not treated, the bones, gums, and tissue that support the teeth are destroyed. The teeth may eventually become loose and have to be removed.