As a periodontics office, we here at Amherst Village Dental specialize in the prevention, diagnosis, and treatment of gum disease. Gum (periodontal) disease is one of the most common dental problems in the U.S.
What Is Periodontal Disease?
Periodontal disease is an infection caused by the bacteria found in plaque, the thin biofilm that constantly forms around our teeth. In response to these bacteria, our immune system produces toxins. Unfortunately, these toxins also target our gums and other supportive tissues, resulting in the infection known as periodontal disease. Without treatment, periodontal disease can have serious consequences for your oral health.
Symptoms of Gum Disease
There are two major stages of periodontal disease: gingivitis and periodontitis. Some symptoms of gingivitis include gums that are swollen, red, or tend to bleed easily. Symptoms of periodontitis include gum recession, deep periodontal pockets, and severe inflammation. Persistent bad breath is also a major sign. If left untreated, periodontal disease may lead to tooth loss.
How Is Gum Disease Treated?
Treatment for gum disease varies from patient to patient. In most cases, the symptoms of gingivitis can be treated and reversed with simple improvements to your oral hygiene. Daily brushing and flossing with the proper technique should return your gums to a healthier state. Regular checkups and cleanings are also key.
Periodontitis is a little more serious and usually requires a procedure known as scaling and root planing. During the procedure, we remove plaque and tarter deposits to eliminate the growth of bacteria. Severe instances of gum recession may require a soft tissue graft.
Several studies over the years have shown a strong connection between our oral and overall well-being. Certain illnesses like diabetes, cardiovascular disease, and other systemic problems have been linked to the presence of periodontal disease. In some instances, this illness can weaken your immune system, putting you at greater risk for periodontal infection. In other cases, the infection stemming from periodontal disease can increase your risk for systemic illnesses.
Dental Consequence of Periodontal Disease
Periodontal disease can have severe and widespread consequences for your oral health. Once the disease spreads to your connective ligaments and your underlying bone, it can result in irreversible damage. In some cases, this damage can be so severe that you need a bone or gum graft, especially during dental implant treatment.
The best way to combat periodontal disease is with prevention. If you are at a greater risk for gum disease you may need to pay special attention to your gums during brushing and flossing. Risk factors for periodontal disease include:
If you are at greater risk for gum disease or exhibit any symptoms, Dr. Bernard Ang may suggest improved periodontal maintenance. When brushing and flossing it can be helpful to remind yourself why you are doing it. Proper techniques should result in more effective plaque and tartar control.
Learn more about periodontal maintenance.
Schedule Your Appointment
To find out if you have gum disease call 603-769-8985, and schedule your appointment now!