Periodontal or gum disease is an infection around the teeth including the gums, the cementum that covers it, the periodontal ligament, the root and the alveolar bone. The bacteria which are inside our mouth, along with mucus and other particles, create a slimy, pale ‘plaque’ on teeth. By daily brushing and flossing, you can usually clear out plaque in the mouth, but the plaque deposits in hidden areas of the mouth that brush and floss cannot reach harden and form tartar.
Periodontal disease normally begins as an inflammation of the gums, called ‘gingivitis’ that happens because of bacteria. Swollen, red and bleeding gums are indications of gingivitis, though it is a mild form of disease, and can be prevented easily by maintaining regular dental hygiene.
If gingivitis is not treated, then things can get worse and cause periodontitis. Periodontitis refers to inflammation around the tooth, in which the swollen gum gets detached from the teeth, forming spaces called ‘pockets’ between tooth and gum. Bacteria grow very fast in the pockets, causing infection.
Listed below are some indications of gum disease:
- Bad breath that won’t go away
- Tender or bleeding gums
- Red or swollen gums
- Loose teeth
- Painful chewing
- Sensitive teeth
- Receding gums or longer appearing teeth
The goal of gum disease treatment is to control the infection and prevent damage to the teeth. Some of the periodontal treatments offered at Goldwater Dental are:
Scaling and Root Planing: This is a deep cleaning treatment where we scrape off tartar from above and below the gum line. Root planing helps to smooth the rough spots in the tooth root where germs gather.
Gingivectomy (Osseous Surgery): A gingivectomy (also known as osseous or pocket reduction surgery), is done to reverse the effects of periodontal disease. It involves pulling back of some of the gum tissue from the teeth and the removal of bacteria to help the periodontal pockets heal so that the gums can heal and reattach to the teeth.
Regenerative Procedures: These procedures are carried out to help in the regeneration of tissue and bone that may have been lost due to gum disease. The treatment aims to get rid of bacteria and regenerate bone and tissue so that pocket depth can be reduced and the damage caused by gum disease can be controlled.
Ridge Preservation: Ridge preservation involves inserting a small amount of bone grafting material into the tooth socket immediately after extraction. This is done to prevent bone loss at the site of the extracted tooth.
To learn more about the prevention and treatment of gum disease, contact our office for a consultation. You can call us at (480) 409-9799.