Periodontal Disease & Treatment
Because periodontal disease doesn’t initially cause discomfort, plaque buildup on teeth often goes unnoticed. Once gum disease becomes advanced, you need to see a dentist who restores your oral health with an appropriate gingivitis treatment. It’s easier to prevent this common dental problem when you understand the causes and recognize the symptoms.
Causes of Periodontal Disease
Periodontal disease begins as gingivitis. This is simply an inflammation of the gums due to a natural plaque buildup on teeth. This sticky residue breeds bacteria that generate toxins and damages gum tissue. This condition is totally reversible. Neglecting regular oral hygiene is a leading cause of initial periodontal problems, but it can be aggravated by smoking, old fillings, ill-fitting dental restorations, and diabetes. Left untreated, gingivitis worsens over time resulting in periodontitis, an unhealthy gum & bone infection; permanent bone damage and possible loss of teeth. The disease is also linked to heart problems, increased cancer risks and pregnancy complications.
Gum Disease (Gingivitis) Symptoms
Brushing and flossing twice a day help control plaque buildup, and antimicrobial rinses also fight the bacteria that attack healthy gum tissue. Regular dental checkups are very important for maintaining good oral health and identifying problems before they become serious. If you should experience any of the following symptoms, talk with your dentist about periodontal treatment options.
- Swollen gums that are red and tender
- Bad breath accompanied by an unpleasant taste
- Receding gums that pull away from teeth
- Gums that bleed when brushed or flossed
- Loose teeth or a shift in tooth alignment
Periodontal Treatment Options
There are several approaches to treating periodontal disease. Often, a gingivitis treatment consisting of thorough plaque removal is sufficient. The procedure eliminates tartar both above and below the gum line. Significant buildup requires scaling away plaque and planing out rough spots on tooth roots. This is done with a local anesthetic, and it restores a clean surface that allows gums to reattach around teeth. Advanced ginginvitus cases call for surgical procedures that address damaged gum tissue with regeneration techniques. Surgical treatments often include bone smoothing and grafts to offset cratering due to tooth and bone loss.