Periodontal disease, also called gum disease, affects the gums surrounding teeth, causing them to become inflamed and infected and can eventually result in tooth loss. Gum disease occurs when tartar and plaque build up along the area where the gums meet the teeth and eventually spread to below the gum line. Bacteria that develop below the gums produce toxins that cause the gum tissue to shrink away from the teeth, allowing even more space for bacteria to invade. Left untreated, gums continue to pull away, exposing and weakening tooth roots.
Gum disease can cause different symptoms, including:
Some people with gum disease don't have any symptoms at all until the final stages of the disease when teeth become weak and loose.
The treatment used for gum disease depends on how far the disease has progressed. In some cases, deep cleaning called scaling and root planing can remove harmful bacteria buildup below the gum line and around the roots. However, if gum disease is advanced, gum grafting may be necessary to build up and restore the gum tissue around the tooth so it's protected from disease.
Yes. The best way to prevent gum disease is with regular and proper brushing and flossing as well as regular dental checkups. During your next checkup, ask the hygienist to watch while you brush your teeth and to provide tips about the best way to brush and floss. The hygienist can also often tell during your cleaning where your brushing and flossing efforts are falling short.
Feel free to email us regarding any scheduling or general questions!