Periodontal Disease Prevention & Treatment in Tucker, GA
While easily prevented, gum disease remains one of the most common oral health problems, affecting four out of five patients each year. At Relief Dental, our goal is to educate patients on the long-term consequences of gum disease and learn how to identify the early signs and symptoms of the condition.
What is Gum (Periodontal) Disease?
The word periodontal means “around the tooth”. Periodontal disease attacks the gums and the bone that support the teeth. Plaque is a sticky film of food debris, bacteria, and saliva. If plaque is not removed, it turns into calculus (tartar). When plaque and calculus are not removed, they begin to destroy the gums and bone, ultimately leading to tooth and bone loss if left untreated. Periodontal disease is characterized by red, swollen, and bleeding gums.
Gum disease doesn't just impact the health of the smile. Ongoing research suggests that there may be a link between periodontal disease and other diseases such as stroke, bacterial pneumonia, diabetes, cardiovascular disease, and increased risk during pregnancy. Recent studies have also suggested the existence of a correlation between the inflammation and bacteria associated with periodontal disease with these systemic diseases and conditions. For pregnant women, gum disease can increase the likelihood of a high-risk pregnancy and delivery and has been linked to premature birth and low-.
What are the Risk Factors of Gum Disease?
While good oral hygiene, a balanced diet, and regular dental visits can help reduce your risk of developing periodontal disease, some patients may be more vulnerable to developing gum disease than others. Smoking or tobacco use, poor diet, diabetes, and even genetic predisposition are just some of the factors that can increase a patient's likelihood of developing gum disease. For these patients, frequent dental visits and an effective hygiene routine at home can help protect the dentition from periodontitis.
Signs and Symptoms of Periodontal Disease
Unlike other dental conditions, the early stages of gum disease (known as periodontal disease) are fairly painless. As a result, many people are unaware they are experiencing periodontal disease symptoms until their condition has already worsened to advanced gum disease. If you are experiencing any of the following symptoms, call Relief Dental today:
Types of Periodontal Disease
When left untreated, gingivitis (mild gum inflammation) can spread to below the gum line. When the gums become irritated by the toxins contained in plaque, a chronic inflammatory response causes the body to break down and destroy its own bone and soft tissue. There may be little or no symptoms as periodontal disease causes the teeth to separate from the infected gum tissue. Deepening pockets between the gums and teeth are generally indicative that soft tissue and bone is being destroyed by periodontal disease.
Here are some of the most common types of periodontal disease:
Chronic periodontitis – Inflammation within supporting tissues cause deep pockets and gum recession. It may appear the teeth are lengthening, but in actuality, the gums (gingiva) are receding. This is the most common form of periodontal disease and is characterized by progressive loss of attachment, interspersed with periods of rapid progression.
Aggressive periodontitis – This form of gum disease occurs in an otherwise clinically healthy individual. It is characterized by rapid loss of gum attachment, chronic bone destruction and familial aggregation.
Necrotizing periodontitis – This form of periodontal disease most often occurs in individuals suffering from systemic conditions such as HIV, immunosuppression and malnutrition. Necrosis (tissue death) occurs in the periodontal ligament, alveolar bone and gingival tissues.
Periodontitis caused by systemic disease – This form of gum disease often begins at an early age. Medical condition such as respiratory disease, diabetes and heart disease are common cofactors.
Treatment for Periodontal Disease
There are many surgical and nonsurgical treatments the periodontist may choose to perform, depending upon the exact condition of the teeth, gums and jawbone. A complete periodontal exam of the mouth will be done before any treatment is performed or recommended.
Here are some of the more common treatments for periodontal disease:
Scaling and root planing – In order to preserve the health of the gum tissue, the bacteria and calculus (tartar) which initially caused the infection, must be removed. The gum pockets will be cleaned and treated with antibiotics as necessary to help alleviate the infection. A prescription mouthwash may be incorporated into daily cleaning routines.
Tissue regeneration – When the bone and gum tissues have been destroyed, regrowth can be actively encouraged using grafting procedures. A membrane may be inserted into the affected areas to assist in the regeneration process.
Pocket elimination surgery – Pocket elimination surgery (also known as flap surgery) is a surgical treatment which can be performed to reduce the pocket size between the teeth and gums. Surgery on the jawbone is another option which serves to eliminate indentations in the bone which foster the colonization of bacteria.
– When teeth have been lost due to periodontal disease, the aesthetics and functionality of the mouth can be restored by implanting prosthetic teeth into the jawbone. Tissue regeneration procedures may be required prior to the placement of a dental implant in order to strengthen the bone.
Early diagnosis and prevention is key to protecting your smile from damage caused by gum disease. If you are experiencing any of the above symptoms or if it's been some time since your last dental visit, call and schedule your next visit
to Relief Dental today,