Periodontal disease, commonly known as gum disease, is the inflammation of gums and bone structure surrounding the teeth primarily caused by bacterial infections. In the initial stages, it is known as gingivitis which involves red and bleeding gums. If left untreated, this matures to form a serious periodontal disease which may result in teeth loss.
What Causes Periodontal Disease?
Due to poor oral hygiene, bacteria and sugary food form a yellow sticky substance, called plaque, on the teeth. If not brushed or flossed properly, plaque hardens with time to tartar and spreads towards the gum line, developing pockets between the teeth and gums. These pockets fill with bacteria and infect the bones supporting the teeth, loosening them in the process. In the long run, this causes teeth loss.
What are the Symptoms of Periodontal Disease?
- The first symptom of periodontal disease is the accumulation of plaque that becomes harder to remove by normal brushing.
- Swollen and red or purplish gums
- Tender gums, bleeding even when touched slightly
- A persisting bad breath and a metallic taste in the mouth that does not go even after brushing
- Gaps in between teeth
- Wrong fit while biting and painful chewing
- Receding gums, making the teeth look longer
Preventing Periodontal Disease
Periodontal disease can be controlled by brushing and flossing your teeth regularly. Routine visits to the dentist to deep clean your teeth can prevent the formation of plaque on the teeth and thus periodontal disease.
Treatment of Periodontal Disease
In the first appointment, the dentist measures the depth of pockets in between the teeth and gums using a dental probe. If the pockets are 4 mm deep or more, dental x-rays are taken to check the pockets and detect periodontitis.
Periodontal disease can be treated either surgically or non-surgically.
The hardened tartar can be removed from your teeth by scaling them. After this, root planing smoothes the root surfaces removing bacteria and preventing any further bacterial growth. Antibiotic mouthwashes and gels are prescribed to eliminate bacterial infection.
Flap surgery involves making a small cut on the gum and exposing the roots to have a closer look. The bone that is lost due to infection is redrafted, and gum tissues are sealed up.
Soft tissue and bone grafting are performed when many tissues or bones are lost. Tissues are taken from other parts of the body and then grafted in place. Synthetic or donated bone tissues are grafted, and this prevents teeth loss.
Please reach out to Cascade Dental Group in Salem, OR, to consult with our Dentists in Salem OR, Dr. Dahl and Dr. Coulombe. Please call us at (503) 399-0724 or schedule an online consultation, and we'll guide you further.