Periodontal (gum) disease or the inflammation of the gum tissues around the gum line affects the jawbone by causing tooth loss or necessitating tooth removal. Periodontal disease is a bacterial disease that occurs from failing to properly clean the teeth. Food morsels and plaque buildup attract the disease-causing bacteria. Swollen, red and bleeding gums indicates gingivitis or the earlier stage for periodontal disease.
This disease is preventable by observing good and proper oral hygiene practices like brushing and flossing. Seeking immediate periodontal disease treatment following detection of symptoms serves as another preventative measure. Despite these measures, periodontal disease remains one of the leading causes of tooth loss among adults.
Ways to Prevent Periodontal Disease:
- Brushing and flossing at least 2 times daily
- Using antibacterial mouthwash or toothpaste to kill the disease-causing bacteria
- Scheduling a biannual visit to your dentist for dental cleanings and check-ups
Signs and Symptoms of Periodontal Disease:
Periodontal disease can affect patients at any age, but most commonly affects adults. Because periodontal disease can be painless, it is important to be aware of any of the following signs and symptoms: (Periodontal disease detected in its early stages can be easily reversed.)
- Puffy, swollen, tender, or red gums
- Bleeding gums, especially during brushing or flossing
- Visible pus around the gums and teeth
- Loose teeth
- Persistent bad taste or bad breath
- Receding gums that make teeth appear longer
- Gums that have pulled away or separated from the teeth to create a pocket
- Noticeable changes in the way your teeth fit together when you bite
Periodontal Disease Stages
There are three periodontal disease stages: gingivitis, periodontitis, and advanced periodontitis. Some dental practitioners claim that there are four periodontal disease stages increasing from least to most severe.
Stage 1: Gingivitis
This is the mild and earliest stage of periodontal disease, usually characterized by puffy or swollen gums, red gums, bleeding gums during brushing and flossing, and bad breath. Gingivitis is typically the inflammation of the gingiva as a result of plaque build-up at the gum-line. Failure to regularly remove plaque by brushing and flossing produces toxins that irritate the gingival tissues and cause gingivitis.
Without the advances of jawbone and connective tissues loss, gingivitis is entirely treatable. Immediate treatment for any resulting dental damage reverses this stage of periodontal disease.
Periodontal Disease Treatment for Gingivitis: Sometimes observing a good and proper oral hygiene practice is all that is required to treat gingivitis and to restore your teeth and gums. Brushing and flossing are very important to remove food debris, chunks, and bacteria from between teeth to prevent the bacterial infection from escalating into the later stages. Once you noticed the signs and symptoms of gingivitis, it is always a good idea to visit your dentist for deeper dental cleaning and an examination.
Stage 2: Periodontitis
This stage marks the transition from slight to moderate periodontal disease – periodontitis. Signs and symptoms of periodontitis include increased swelling and redness of the gums. Gums also experience bleeding from slight impact or when brushing or flossing. Furthermore, pockets grow below the gum line making room for increased trapped morsels and plaque. Periodontitis may be accompanied by pain or damage to the gum tissues, the supporting jawbones and fibers.
Periodontal Disease Treatment for Periodontitis: During this stage, infection spreads deeper, affecting the gingival tissue and jawbones and rendering professional dental care necessary. Periodontal disease treatment for periodontitis consists of “scaling” and “root planning” or deeper cleaning to remove plaque buildup and counter infection.
Stage 3: Advanced Periodontitis
This is the final stage of periodontal disease. The disease-causing bacteria penetrate deeper into the gums causing a complete loss of jawbone, connective tissues, and gingival tissue. At this stage, there is an increased chance of tooth shifts and tooth loss. Other dental complications include generally loose teeth, severe toothaches and persistent bad breadth. Additionally, patients experience serious pain from loose and highly sensitive teeth when chewing food.
Periodontal Disease Treatment for Advanced Periodontitis: Seek early dental treatment before you experience advanced stages of periodontal disease. Once at this stage, only surgical procedures or laser therapy will treat this deep infection. The dentist removes the affected teeth that cannot be saved by treatment.
We recommend that you schedule regular dental check-ups and cleaning with your dentist. With early detection, periodontal disease can be treated in its earliest stages before worsening into a serious dental condition.
Periodontal Disease Treatment
Periodontal Disease Treatment falls under two categories including nonsurgical and surgical. Though the required treatments are often less invasive with milder stages of periodontal disease, advanced periodontal disease requires dental surgery.
Nonsurgical Treatments include:
Scaling – Removing tartar and bacteria from the tooth’s surface and from beneath the gums using special dental tools including a laser and ultrasonic device.
Root Planning – Smoothening the tooth root surfaces to discourage further build-up of bacteria and tartar. This eliminates bacterial by-products that aid inflammation and delay the tooth healing processes.
Antibiotics – Taking oral and using topical antibiotics to control bacterial infection.
Surgical Treatments include:
Flap Surgery (Pocket Reduction Surgery) – Creating tiny incisions in the gum to lift back a section of the gum tissue for effective scaling and panning.
Soft Tissue Grafting – Reinforcing the receded gingival tissues i.e. replacing the damaged soft tissue with tissues from the upper palate or from a donor.
Bone Grafting – Replacing the damaged jawbone around the affected tooth root.
Guided Tissue Regeneration – Re-growing the bone tissues destroyed by bacteria.
Tissue-stimulating Proteins – Stimulating growth of healthy gum tissues and bones by applying protein-containing gel to the diseased tooth root.
Are you experiencing signs and symptoms of periodontal disease? Have you missed your biannual professional dental cleaning and check-up? Then contact us today to schedule a convenient dental appointment with you.