If you answered YES to any of these questions, you may have some form of gum disease. Gum disease can be treated, and early detection and treatment are key! You owe it to yourself to keep your healthy smile! Call us today at (888) 659-9446 for a complete periodontal evaluation.Request an Appointment Online Now ×
Gum disease is a bacterial infection in your gums and around your teeth where bacteria and plaque accumulate between your teeth and underneath your gums and over time hardens to form calcium deposits (also known as calculus or tartar), which adhere to your tooth similar to the way barnacles attach to the underside of a boat. Tartar is a mineralized and calcified deposit within which bacteria hide. As tartar accumulates, the bacteria are able to attack the gum tissue and bone around your teeth then retreat to hide back inside the tartar making these bacteria hard for your immune system to find and kill. While gingivitis is the beginning form of gum disease, it is possible for untreated gingivitis to turn into periodontitis or periodontal disease.
Periodontitis, the advanced form of gum disease, causes the gum tissue and bone that holds your teeth in place to melt away. As a result of progressing periodontitis and gingivitis, your gums no longer have a good seal around your teeth and you end up developing a form of deep periodontal pocketing. Deep periodontal pockets cause more bacterial plaque and calculus to build-up. Just imagine the cuticle around your nails having a poor seal and dirt getting inside deep within your skin and finger nails. When gum disease is not treated it leads to gum, bone, and tooth loss.
Periodontics is the dental specialty that treats disease and other conditions affecting the health of your gums and the underlying jawbone that holds your teeth in place. Healthy gums enhance the appearance of your teeth, like a frame around a beautiful painting. When your gums become unhealthy, they can bleed, shrink, swell and turn red. As it progresses, the bone that holds your teeth in place is destroyed and your teeth will shift, loosen, or fall out. These changes not only affect your ability to chew and speak, they also ruin your smile. Keeping your teeth is directly dependent on proper gum treatment, brushing, flossing and various other factors. *You should be aware that in certain forms of gum disease, your gums will NOT bleed. This is commonly found in smokers and various forms of genetically related gums diseases.
Gum treatment is necessary when this gum infection gets a hold of the part of your jawbone, which holds your teeth in place. Gum disease is caused by an infection started by bacteria which live in pockets around your teeth. This infection damages the teeth, gums, and jawbone of more than 80% of Americans by the age of 45. Gum disease is a major cause of tooth loss in adults.
Gum disease is a progressive and usually painless disease in which bacteria living in dental plaque and tartar cause an infection in the gums and bone between and around your teeth. It begins with gingivitis-inflammation of your gums-which causes irritation and bleeding. Gingivitis, when left untreated, will ultimately result in the destruction of the bone holding your teeth in place. As the bone is destroyed, often times your gum tissue will recede, making you look "long in the tooth." If not treated, the bone loss accelerates and your teeth become loose. This is because you can no longer remove the bacteria as they grow and spread deeper into the pockets between your gums and teeth.
Periodontal disease is often considered the “silent killer” of teeth. Symptoms may not appear until an advanced stage of the disease. Millions of people don’t even know they have this serious infection and progressive bone loss. By the time most people are aware something is wrong, such as loose teeth, the infection has progressed too far. Persistent swollen, red, or bleeding gums, tooth sensitivity, and bad breath are some of the warning signs that you have gum disease. Other signs and symptoms may include the following:
The only way to slow, stop, or even reverse the effects of gum disease is by physically removing the bacteria, plaque and calculus from underneath your gums. Removing the bad bacteria which cause periodontal disease can be done several different ways:
A traditional approach of scaling and root planing (a closed gum deep cleaning) followed by gum or osseous surgery (an opened gum cleaning) is one effective way to remove large amounts of plaque and calculus.
A more modern approach is by a minimally invasive procedure called LANAP™ (Laser Assisted New Attachment Procedure) also known as laser periodontal therapy or laser gum therapy. This therapy involves the use of a specialized dental laser.
Additionally, a less effective approach is the use of medications and antibiotics.
Periodontal disease is chronic. The same bacteria which cause periodontal disease are free floating in your mouth and return to your teeth and gums over time. Antibiotics can sometimes help, but only temporarily. Calculus also originates from your saliva and will always return. Calculus sticks to your tooth and root surfaces and cannot be removed by brushing and flossing alone. Regular periodontal maintenance check-ups and cleanings will always be needed to keep the bacteria from attacking your gums and teeth again.