PERIODONTAL (GUM) DISEASE
Healthy gums for a healthy smile
Periodontal (gum) disease is an inflammatory condition resulting from bacteria that is present in plaque. As plaque and dental calculus (hardened plaque) build up on the teeth, the bacteria can cause infection, and lead to swelling in the gums.
Gum disease can be serious, and has been linked to severe health conditions such as heart attack, stroke, and even cancer. It is important to treat periodontal disease as early as possible to ensure the health of your smile is restored. If left untreated, this condition can lead to tooth loss, bone loss, and a sharply receding gum line.
Symptoms may include:
- Bleeding gums when you brush, floss or have your teeth cleaned
- Bad breath
- Noticeably receding gum tissue (pulling back from your teeth) or teeth appearing longer
- Tender or swollen gums
- An altered bite because your teeth have moved or shifted
Many patients are surprised to find that the health of their gums is not in great condition as they may have thought, which is why we take the time for a full periodontal evaluation. Based on our analysis, we can recommend and discuss the best course of therapy based on your individual needs.
Scaling and Root Planing
If periodontal disease is present, we may recommend scaling and root planing — deep cleaning techniques that remove plaque, calculus, and bacteria from both above and below the gum line.
Scaling involves the removal of built up plaque and tartar. Root planning involves gently cleaning the roots of the teeth and removing any rough spots. Both treatments actually help gums heal and enable the gums to reattach themselves to a new, smooth surface.
These simple procedures can also help keep calculus and tartar from attacking the root surface again, and prevent periodontal disease from progressing further. In some cases, scaling and root planning can even reverse the effects that are already present
Once we determine that your teeth and gums are in their optimal condition, we’ll provide you with the right tools to keep it that way. Helping you improve and maintain your periodontal health is extremely important to our team. In some cases, patients who don’t respond with improvements to their gum health will be referred to specialists for additional treatment options.
If your gums are red, swollen, or tender, or if your gums bleed easily, you may suffer from periodontal disease. We encourage you to contact us for an appointment at your earliest convenience to learn more about treatment options and restoring the health of your gums.