If your gums are swollen and tender, or bleed easily when you brush your teeth, you may have gum disease. Prevention begins with the control of plaque and calculus, the main cause for gum disease. Gum disease can lead to tooth loss.
You can actively prevent disease and decay through regular home care, regular dental exams and professional cleanings. This will maintain a healthy, beautiful smile. The word “periodontal” literally means “around the tooth.”
Flossing is one of the most important things to do
Periodontal (Gum) Disease is an ongoing infection in the pockets around the teeth. The deeper the pockets, the more infection you have in fact, this is the major cause of tooth loss. The purpose of Periodontal (Gum) Treatment is to remove this infection and give these pockets a chance to heal.
HOW DO WE CHECK FOR PERIO DISEASE? Read on!
YES, it's true that flossing can help prevent gum disease! Read more about the proper technique to flossing.
Some bleeding during flossing is typical when first starting to floss.
If your gums bleed or if your pocket measurements are over 4 mm, those are symptoms of gum disease. However, in severe cases, it may signal periodontal disease. During your comprehensive oral exam, or your periodontal cleaning, probing measurements may be taken. Bleeding during probing signals an area affected by gum disease or gingivitis.
Gingivitis is inflammation of the gums. Bleeding gums are one symptom of gingivitis.
Measurements above 5 mm means those areas have bone loss. Bone loss occurs when gingivitis progresses to periodontitis. Periodontitis involves loss of bone and gum tissue.
Keeping your periodontal record up-to-date allows dental health professionals to assess the health of your gums. Perio Charting records allow them to track and compare your gum health over time.
Gums in an unhealthy state contribute to tooth loss and other adverse effects.
So what can be done? Read on!
Research has linked oral health problems such as periodontal or gum disease to many health conditions, including:
Early detection is key, and there is generally one treatment (non-surgical) to treat this condition depending on the severity of your infection: Perio Scaling and Root Planing.
Perio Scaling and Root Planing (or commonly referred to as a Deep Cleaning) is a non-surgical procedure preformed to remove periodontal infection from below the gum line. Scaling and planing effectively remove periodontal infections where the pockets around your gums are not too deep. The surfaces of the tooth root are cleaned and smoothed and this removes the bacteria under the gums and makes it more difficult for bacteria to grow under the gums in the future. This is typically performed in multiple appointments under a local or topical anesthetic and is followed by a Perio Maintenance type cleaning every three months thereafter for the first year. Then an reevaluation of your gums is made to determine if more time between cleanings is justified or if continuing on a three month program is best to "maintain" the progress made. Note: Failure to comply with the prescribed perio cleanings thereafter may result in a reversal of the progress made. Perio scaling .
If the tissue around your teeth is unhealthy and cannot be repaired with non-surgical treatment, a minor surgical procedure must be performed to remove the infection. This is typically done by a specialist called a "Periodontist" who specializes in gums.
See our page on TYPES OF CLEANINGS
Gum recession is the process in which the margin of the gum tissue that surrounds the teeth wears away, or pulls back, exposing more of the tooth, or the tooth's root. When gum recession occurs, "pockets," or gaps, form between the teeth and gum line, making it easy for disease-causing bacteria to build up.
Exposed tooth roots are the result of gum recession.
Gum graft surgery will repair the defect and help
to prevent additional recession and bone loss.
Poor oral hygiene and periodontal disease can contribute. However, receding gums can also happen with good oral hygiene.
Some people may be prone to receding gums due to genetic factors, including the position of the teeth and gum thickness.
Physical wear of the gums by vigorous tooth brushing or the use of hard bristles is a further, common cause of receding gums. ALWAYS USE SOFT BRISTLE OR ELECTRIC TOOTHBRUSHES!
Other physical factors that push the gums back include lip or tongue piercings, misaligned teeth, and bruxism (grinding).
Gum grafts can be used to cover roots or develop gum tissue where absent due to excessive gingival recession. During gum graft surgery, the periodontist takes gum tissue from your palate or another donor source to cover the exposed root. This can be done for one tooth or several teeth to even your gum line and reduce sensitivity.
Whether you have a gum graft to improve function or aesthetics, patients often receive the benefits of both: a beautiful new smile and improved periodontal health – your keys to smiling, eating and speaking with comfort and confidence.
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