What is Periodontal (Gum) Disease?
Periodontal disease affects a large portion of the population. It is a disease that causes pockets or spaces in the gum tissue, allowing bacteria to enter. The buildup of plaque causes the gums to become inflamed. Normal brushing cannot reach this buildup, and over time, if left untreated, the pockets continue to get deeper. Symptoms may include bad breath, red and puffy gums, bleeding gums and loose or sensitive teeth.
- Diagnosis: Gingivitis is the beginning stages of periodontal disease.
Bleeding when brushing is a sign of this, as are inflammation and tenderness. At Robinson Dental Group, we measure between the tooth and gums to determine the depth of any pockets that may be present.
- Treatment: Gingivitis and periodontal disease must be treated to prevent further destruction of teeth, gums and bone—that can eventually lead to tooth loss. Depending on the extent of the disease, a deep cleaning and scaling is recommended and will typically be done with local numbing. When the buildup has been removed from below the gum line, the tissue will heal over time, causing the pockets to get smaller.
Maintenance: Follow-up appointments are recommended to monitor the healing progress. If improvement is not seen over time, a visit to a periodontal specialist may be in order. Medicated rinses, consistent flossing and using an electric toothbrush are some of the home treatments suggested as well.