80% of people have gum disease and is the leading cause of tooth loss in adults. Gum disease is a progressive disorder which is triggered by many factors, like plaque buildup, tobacco use, medications, stress, as well as systematic disease and genetics. However the single most important cause of gum disease is improper oral hygiene and diet.
Gum disease begins when the bacteria group in a sticky film called plaque which forms on the tooth surface. This causes gum inflammation. If the irritation is ignored, plaque and infection will release toxins to break down the fibers that hold your gums to your teeth. This permits even more bacteria and toxins to be created and enter the body. Gum disease at this stage is diagnosed as Gingivitis. Usually a regular cleaning will help alleviate any issues caused by Gingivitis.
If not treated, plaque deposits harden into calculus/tartar, which is a rough, porous substance that cannot be removed by brushing. Over time, this progression can lead to severe infection, inflammation, bone loss, gum recession, and finally tooth loss. If Gingivitis is not treated it will progress to Periodontitis. This condition is diagnosed and treated by Deep Cleanings.
Signs of Periodontal Disease Include:
- Red, swollen, tender, or bleeding gums
- Gum recession, or gums pulling away from teeth
- Loose or separating teeth
- Persistent bad breath
Gingivitis is a localized inflammation of the gums surrounding the teeth. Often seen as red bleeding gums, it is reversible with a thorough professional cleaning and good oral hygiene at home.There is no permanent damage to the bone or fibers supporting the teeth unless it is not treated and becomes periodontitis. The treatment for gingivitis is a regular cleaning.
Periodontitis is when gingivitis has advanced and it can range from mild to severe. The main difference between gingivitis and periodontitis is that periodontitis is accompanied by heavy tartar buildup that is often visible on x-rays. Periodontitis will require a “deep cleaning”, a comfortable procedure with no off time.
A deep cleaning is often called Scaling and Root Planing (SRP). With local anesthesia, very small instruments remove from the root surface the tartar and then the surfaces are smoothed. Depending on your case, we may recommend that the area be flushed with an antiseptic to kill any remaining bacteria. This procedure is quite common and comfortable for the patient and there no off time is required. The advantages of a deep cleaning can be noticed within a few days of treatment.
In our office we also have a laser that can be used to sterilize the gums and destroy any bacteria hiding under the gums. We will recommend this option to patients that would find it beneficial.
Untreated the process will continue until so much bone is lost that the tooth becomes loose. With the heavy loss of bone the placement of an implant restoration becomes much more difficult if not impossible. It is highly recommend to get your gums treated to prevent permanent long-term damage.
At any age, you can begin the fight against plaque and keep your teeth and gums healthy. It’s really quite easy.
Simply Follow this Routine:
- Brush your teeth twice a day with a soft-bristled toothbrush and fluoride toothpaste to remove food particles and plaque from the tooth surfaces. While you’re at it, brush the top surface of your tongue to eliminate bad breath and bacteria buildup.
- Clean between your teeth daily with floss or an inter-dental cleaner. Decay-causing bacteria can linger between teeth where toothbrush bristles can’t reach. Flossing removes plaque and food particles from between the teeth and under the gum line.
- Eat a balanced diet and limit in-between snacks. Make sure you brush after your snacking.
Call our office for your cleaning today!