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Periodontal Disease

Our mouths are filled with a wide range of bacteria, which constantly form a “plaque” on teeth. Brushing and flossing help get rid of plaque, but if it isn’t removed, it can harden and form tartar that brushing cannot clean. Only professional cleaning from a dentist or dental hygenist can remove tartar.

Periodontal diseases are gum diseases that start with Gingivitis, a bacterial inflammation of gums around your teeth, to serious disease that results in major damage to the soft tissue and bone that support the teeth. In the worst cases, teeth are lost.

Gingivitus is a bacterial inflammation of the gums, and it can cause your gums to become red, swollen, and to bleed easily. As a mild form of gum disease, it can be reversed with daily brushing and flossing and regular cleaning by professionals. If it isn’t treated, it can advance to periodontitis, which is inflammation around the tooth. Gums start pulling away from the teeth and form spaces that become infected. The bone and connective tissue that hold teeth in place can cause teeth to become loose and need to be removed.

Whether gum disease is stopped, slowed, or gets worse can depend on how well you care for your teeth and gums every day.

Treatment of periodontitis usually starts with a deep cleaning of the teeth above and below the gumlines, and can advance to surgery to clean the teeth more fully.

Some of the risk factors involved in gum disease can include:

  • Smoking.
  • Hormonal changes in girls and women.
  • Diabetes.
  • Other illnesses.
  • Medications.
  • Genetic susceptibility.

Symptoms of gum disease can include:

  • Bad breath that doesn’t go away
  • Red or swollen gums
  • Tender or bleeding gums
  • Painful chewing
  • Loose teeth
  • Sensitive teeth
  • Receding gums or longer appearing teeth

The main goal of gum disease treatment is to control the infection. This can include suggestions for changes in behavior, such as quitting smoking, and even deep cleaning methods such as scaling and planing to treat the teeth above and below the gum line. The specific treatments depend upon a number of factors, including the amount of infection present.