What is Periodontal Disease?
Periodontal Disease is an autoimmune disease that occurs in approximately 35-40% of the population in America. The disease causes bone loss around teeth in relation to the amount of plaque on your teeth. Unfortunately, there is no true cure for Periodontal Disease but we can help to actively treat the disease to keep symptoms to a minimum and to help keep bone loss to a minimum. Most people have no idea that they have periodontal disease. It typically does not hurt but it will continue to progress if left untreated, resulting in bad breath, loose teeth or dental abscesses. Periodontal Disease can be classified as mild (gingivitis) to severe.
How do I know if I have periodontal disease?
When plaque and tartar build up on the teeth, it irritates the sensitive gum tissue. The gums can become inflamed, red and tender, often bleeding when you brush or eat crunchy foods. Inflammation without bone loss is called gingivitis. This can be remedied by having a regular cleaning. As gingivitis progresses, the gums can become more infected and recede away from the teeth. You may experience bad breath from the infection, persisting even after you brush or use mouthwash. If you begin noticing any of these symptoms, you may have gingivitis and need treatment to regain your oral health.
If you are experiencing loose teeth, chronic bad breath, and infection or puss around your teeth, you may have a more advanced form of periodontal disease. Our dentists and hygienist work together to treat the disease and help get you back into good oral health.
How do you treat Periodontal Disease?
Excellent oral hygiene is not just for fresh breath and preventing tooth decay, it is also crucial for gum health, both for those individuals prone to periodontal disease and for those who are not. The bacteria that feed on food debris on teeth can cause decay or cavities and bad breath, but there are also bacteria that can cause infection in the gum tissue and cause bone loss. Even with daily brushing and flossing, there are still particles that can hide in crevices of the teeth, feeding bacteria that can build plaque, tartar and lead to a serious gum infection.
To prevent and treat gingivitis or gum disease, thorough cleanings and treatments for infection are needed. Regular visits for professional dental cleanings are important for prevention, but when gingivitis has started, gum therapy is needed. Our dental hygienist and dentist work together to treat gum disease, helping to restore healthy gum tissue and prevent tooth loss and risks to your health from gum disease.
Another adjunct for treating periodontal disease is by using antibiotics. We can put antibiotics directly around the teeth in the infected areas. This treatment works incredibly well to minimize infections. We can also use a low dose of an oral antibiotic, which also helps in those people with chronic periodontal disease.
If you are concerned that you have gingivitis or already have been diagnosed with gum disease, regular treatments can help restore healthy gums. Contact our office to schedule a checkup and cleaning to begin a treatment plan to protect your smile and overall health from the damages of gum disease.