Gum (Periodontal) Disease
Periodontal disease is caused by a buildup of bacteria that attaches to your teeth. This bacteria is usually situated between the gums and tooth tissue. It releases toxic substances under your gums and causes gum inflammation, bone loss, and subsequent tooth loss. Both regular cleanings and deep cleanings (scaling and root planing) help prevent,and or significantly decrease the chances of gum disease.It is estimated that more Americans are losing their teeth due to gum disease, than losing them to tooth decay.
There are multiple factors as to why gum disease leads to both bone and tooth loss:
- It progresses slowly, and there are many stages to periodontal disease.
- It does not cause pain until towards the end of the periodontal disease stage.
Periodontal disease leads to bleeding/inflamed gums and or bad breath. Also, as the disease process continues, patients may notice spaces between their teeth and shifting of their teeth
If you are at risk for periodontal disease, Dr. Greyf and the hygienist will devise a proper treatment plan for you.
There are multiple stages of perio disease, and the first and most common stage is gingivitis. This is an inflammation and bleeding of the gums, but does not contribute to any signs of bone loss.
The next stage would be periodontitis, which can be mild, moderate or severe. Periodontitis can be generalized, which is the entire mouth, or it can be localized to several teeth.
There are many contributing factors that can cause and intensify periodontal disease. Some of these factors include systemic diseases (diabetes, immune diseases, etc), medications, and general lack of oral hygiene.
Periodontal disease can also occur in younger patients as well, and is known a Juvenile periodontitis.
For healthy gums, we advise:
Regular hygiene appointments which should be scheduled every 6 months.
For gingivitis patients, we advise:
leanings are recommended 4 times a year, and must be shared with several other adjunct treatments.
For patients with mild periodontitis, we advise:
This is treated with a deep cleaning known as scaling and root planing. Along with this, we highly recommend several in home aids such as electric toothbrushes and adjunct treatments. In our office, we use a medicine called Arestin, that can be placed in the gums as an antibiotic to help fight perio disease.
For patients with moderate to severe periodontitis, we advise:
When periodontitis becomes moderate to severe, bone loss can become extremely significant. Due to this, a pocket reduction therapy, otherwise known as periodontal surgery is highly recommended.
In our office, we use lasers (waterlase, biolase and diode lasers) to help prevent post operative pain and bleeding.Occasionally, in personal instances, bone grafting (regenerating bone loss due to perio disease) may be recommended as well.