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Periodontal (Gum) Disease

Periodontal (Gum) Disease

What causes periodontal disease?

Healthy gum tissue fits tightly around a tooth like a shirt cuff fits around your wrist. When someone has a periodontal disease, the gum tissue pulls away from the tooth. As the disease progresses, the tissue and bone that support the tooth are destroyed. OVer time, teeth may fall out or need to be removed.

Periodontal disease is caused by plaque, a sticky film that is always forming on your teeth. Plaque gives a home to bacteria that produce harmful toxins. If teeth are not cleaned well, the toxins can irritate and inflame the gums.

Inflamed gum tissues can pull away from teh teeth and form spaces called pockets. The pockets provide a home for more bacteria. If the infected pockets are not treated, the disease can get worse. The bone and other tissues that support teeth are damaged.

Plaque can be removed if you brush and clean between your teeth everyday. But even if you brush and floss daily, you may not be able to remove all the plaque, especially around the gumline. Plaque can harden into a rough surface called calculus. The only way to remove calculus is with a professtional dental cleaning.

How can I tell if I have a periodontal disease?

Some people have a periodontal disease with few warning signs, or none at all. If you notice any of these signs, see your dentist asap:

  • gums that bleed when you brush or floss
  • red, swollen or tender gums
  • gum that have pullled away from your teeth
  • bad breath that doesn't go away
  • pus between your teeth and gums
  • loose or separating teeth
  • a change in the way your teeth fit together when you bite
  • a change in the fit of partial denture
Periodontal Disease

Are there treatments for periodontal diseases

The mildest form of the periodontal disease is called Gingivitis. Gums may be red, swollen and may bleed easily when you brush. The good news is that this early stage of periodontal disease can be reversed. Sometimes all it takes are better home care and more regular professional cleanings.

If you are diagnosed with more advanced periodontal disease, your dentist may suggest a treatment called scaling and root planning. In this treatment, the plaque and tartar are carefully removed down to the bottom of each periodontal pocket. This treatment may be done over several visits, depending on your needs. The tooth's root surfaces are then smoothed to allow the gum tissue to heal and reattach to the tooth.

Your dentist may also prescribe antibiotics or other medications. Sometimes these medications can be placed directly in the periodontal pocket. All dentists are taught to notice and treat periodonal disease. However, sometimes your dentist may refer you to a periodontist. This is a dentist who specializes in preventing, diagnosing and treating periodontal diseases.

A periodontal disease will not go away by itself. Preventing and treating the disease in the early stages are the best ways to keep your smile healthy. If you have a periodontal disease, follow your dentist's recommendations for treatment and follow-up care.

What can I do to keep from getting a periodontal disease

Brush your teeth twice a day, for at least two minutes each time.

Clean between your teeth once a day with floss or another interdental cleaner.

When choosing products, look for those that show the American Dental Association's seal of acceptance. the ADA seal assures that they meet the ADA's standards for safety and effectiveness.

Eat a balanced diet for good general and oral health.

Avoid tobacco in any form

Visit the dental office regulary for a professional cleaning. With regular dental visits, your dentist can detect periodontal disease in the early stages.

Please call our office if you have any questions about periodontal disease or to schedule an appointment with our dentist.

 
 
 
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