Gum disease is an infection of the tissues and bones that surround and support the teeth. It is also called periodontal disease.
What causes gum disease?
Your mouth constantly makes a clear, sticky substance called plaque that contains bacteria. The bacteria in plaque make poisons, or toxins, that irritate the gums and cause the gum tissues to break down. If you do not do a good job of removing plaque from your teeth, it can spread below the gums and damage the bone that supports the teeth. With time, the plaque hardens into a substance called tartar that has to be removed by a dentist or dental hygienist.
The two types of gum disease are called gingivitis and periodontitis. Gingivitis is a mild gum disease that affects only the gums and the tissue that surrounds the teeth. Periodontitis is a more severe gum disease that spreads below the gums to damage the tissues and bone that support the teeth.
Gingivitis causes red, swollen gums that bleed easily when the teeth are brushed. Because gingivitis usually doesn’t cause pain, many people don’t get the treatment they need. The longer plaque and tartar are on teeth, the more harmful they become. The bacteria cause inflammation of the gums that is called “gingivitis.” The gums become red, swollen and can 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. This form of gum disease does not include any loss of bone and tissue that hold teeth in place.
Periodontitis causes the gums to pull away from the teeth, leaving deep pockets where germs called bacteria can grow and damage the bone that supports the teeth. Gums can also shrink back from the teeth. This can make the teeth look longer. Teeth may become loose, fall out, or have to be pulled out by a dentist. 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.
You are more likely to get gum disease if you:
. Do not clean your teeth well
. Smoke or chew tobacco
. Poor diet
. High level of stress
. Have someone in your family who has
. Have a condition that makes it harder for your
body to fight infection, such as Diabetes, AIDS,
How is gum disease treated?
The main goal of treatment is to control the infection. The number and types of treatment will vary, depending on the extent of the gum disease. Any type of treatment requires that the patient keep up good daily care at home. The doctor may also suggest changing certain behaviors, such as quitting smoking, as a way to improve treatment outcome.
Healthy teeth depend on healthy gums. Gums protect the base of the teeth, where connective tissue anchors them to bone. Left untreated, gum problems can lead to tooth loss. Fortunately, there’s plenty you can do to keep gums healthy.
By scheduling regular checkups, early stage gum disease can be treated before it leads to a much more serious condition. If your condition is more advanced, treatment in the dental office will be required.
There is much you can do to avoid the sure pathway to advanced periodontal disease if you work with your dentist to halt advancement. Dr. Rocha offers prompt, non-surgical gum disease therapy/treatment, as gum disease left alone may extraction.
What does periodontal treatment involve?
In the early stages of gum disease, most treatment involves a special cleaning called scaling and root planning, which removes plaque and tartar around the tooth and smoothing the root surfaces. Antibiotics or antimicrobials may be used to supplement the effects of scaling and root planning.
In most cases of early gum disease, called gingivitis, scaling and root planning and proper daily cleaning can achieve a satisfactory result.
More advanced cases may require surgical treatment, which involves cutting the gums – sometimes with the assistance of a laser – and removing the hardened plaque build-up and the damaged bone. The procedure is also designed to smooth root surfaces and reposition the gum tissue so it will be easier to keep clean.
Tower Dental Arts is a state of the art dental facility in Bonita Springs, FL that offers the very best in modern day cosmetic, restorative & preventative dental care for your entire family, utilizing the latest technology and safest materials and procedures available.
At Tower Dental Dr. Sonia Rocha is known for her expertise in creating beautiful smiles with the latest technology available. Tower Dental is the pathway to a bright new smile. The world always looks brighter from behind a smile. Happy New Year!