Periodontal Care (Treatment of Gum Disease)
Periodontal Disease is an infection that affects the gum tissue and the bone that supports the teeth. If bacteria build up on the teeth and gums, the body reacts with an inflammatory response. The gums swell and the pockets around the teeth deepen, making these areas more difficult to clean. Left untreated, periodontal disease may eventually lead to tooth loss. There is also a correlation between gum disease and other health concerns such as diabetes, cardiovascular disease, stroke, and increased risk during pregnancy.
Gum disease can be like high blood pressure in that people are often unaware that they have it. Regular dental exams are important to monitor the health of your gum tissues. Warning signs of a possible problem include:
- Gums that bleed easily
- Red, swollen, or tender gums
- Gums that have pulled away from your teeth
- Persistent bad breath
- Infection or pus between the teeth and gums
- Loose or shifting teeth
- A change in the way your teeth fit together when you bite
- A change in the fit of partial or complete dentures
Periodontal treatment depends on the type and severity of the disease. If it is caught early, a thorough cleaning and improvement of daily oral hygiene may be all that is needed. In more severe cases a deep cleaning called scaling and root planing may be required. We may also utilize medication in some instances to control the bacteria. If the disease has advanced to the point where supporting bone is lost, additional treatment or a referral to the periodontist (gum specialist) may be necessary.