Your gums and bone surrounding your teeth are important to your overall dental and systemic health. The gums and bones are where the teeth are anchored. Any disease or infection of the gums or bone can lead not only to tooth loss but be linked to other health issues as well.
What is Periodontal Dentistry?
Periodontal dentistry, also known as periodontics, is the branch of dentistry that deals with supporting structures around teeth such as gums and jawbone. Periodontics is used to treat periodontal disease and support improved oral health.
What is Periodontal Disease?
Periodontal disease is a bacterial infection of the gums and bone surrounding teeth. Periodontal disease can cause inflammation, swelling, redness, and eventual tooth loss if not treated properly. There are four stages of periodontal disease: gingivitis, slight periodontal disease, moderate periodontal disease, and advanced periodontal disease. One who has early symptoms may experience mild discomfort or pain while chewing food. Other symptoms of periodontal disease include the following:
• Bad breath • Red gums • Swollen gums • Bleeding gums when brushing or flossing • Painful chewing • Loose teeth • Sensitive teeth • Receding gums or longer appearing teeth • Swollen lymph nodes (glands), especially those on the side of the face near the jawbone
More severe symptoms include pus between your teeth and gums,
What Causes Periodontal Disease?
One of the most common causes of periodontal disease is bacteria that invade and infect the gums, bone, and tooth sockets. When plaque builds up on teeth due to improper oral hygiene, it can cause inflammation which produces bacteria that is harmful enough to destroy gum tissue. This will lead to red, swollen, and bleeding gums which affects the supporting structures for your teeth, such as bones and ligaments.
The milder form of gum disease is gingivitis. This can be remedied with regular brushing, flossing, and dentist visits. Gingivitis that is not treated can turn into periodontal disease. Patients with periodontal disease have bleeding, sore, puffy gums that can be painful. If not treated, patients can lose their teeth as a result of the dissolving of the supporting jaw bone. Periodontal disease has also been linked to other serious health conditions such as diabetes, heart disease, stroke, osteoporosis, and respiratory infections and diseases. Besides the pain, discomfort, and serious health risks, patients with periodontal disease typically must undergo extensive, possibly expensive dental work.
Prevention and Treatment
Treatment for periodontitis varies on the stage of the disease the patient may be in. Gingivitis is the only stage of periodontal disease that is reversible because it has not spread to the teeth or bones. Therefore, it can be treated with a step-up in oral hygiene and professional cleaning. More severe forms of periodontal disease require extensive treatments that may include a deep cleaning of the teeth and gums, prescription medications, dental implants, or even corrective surgery.
Ready to Get Started?
Prevention is important. At Apple Tree Dental, we offer patients periodontal services such as scaling, root planing, crown lengthening, and dental implants in order to limit the possible progression of periodontal disease. We believe that gum disease prevention is of the best interest of the patient, and we strive to intervene before surgical dental work is needed. At Apple Tree Dental, our knowledgeable dentists (and periodontists?) will be able to take care of our patients with the utmost care, regardless of the stage their oral health is in. Let us help you take care of your teeth and gums by setting up an appointment with us today.