Periodontics

Treatment of monitoring Gum Disease (Gingivitis) and Periodontitis (Gum and Bone Disease).

Gum Disease

Gingivitis is the medical term for early gum disease. In general, gum disease can be caused by long-term exposure to plaque, the sticky but colorless film on teeth that forms after eating, or calculus which builds up from bacteria.

Gum disease originates in the gums, where infections form from harmful bacteria and other materials left behind from eating. Early warning signs include chronic bad breath, tender or painful swollen gums and minor bleeding after brushing or flossing. In many cases, however, gingivitis can go unnoticed. The infections can eventually cause the gums to separate from the teeth, creating even greater opportunities for infection and decay.

Although gum disease is the major cause of tooth loss in adults, in many cases it is avoidable.

If gingivitis goes untreated, more serious problems such as abscesses, bone loss or periodontitis can occur.

Periodontitis is treated in a number of ways. One method, called scaling and root planing, involves cleaning and scraping below the gum line to remove bacteria. If effective, this procedure helps the gums reattach themselves to the tooth structure. However, not all instances of scaling and root planing successfully reattach the tooth to the gums. Additional measures may be needed if the periodontal pockets persist after scaling and root planing.

Pregnancy has also been known to cause a form of gingivitis. This has been linked to hormonal changes in the woman’s body that promote plaque production.

Periodontitis

Periodontitis happens when the infection of Gingivitis spreads to the bone that surrounds and supports your teeth and causes the bone to silently waste away. It is the major cause of tooth loss among adults and affects three out of four adults age 35 or older. Only your dentist can treat the more advanced damage caused by periodontitis. Periodontitis is also painless. That is why a thorough examination of the gums and bone support of your teeth on an annual basis is so important.

Make healthy decisions about your smile