Periodontal Disease & Your Health
Gum disease does not only affect the gums and inside your mouth, but also affects your entire body! If you have gum disease you are also running the risk of many other problems such as:
- heart disease
- lung disease
- gastric ulcers
- pre-term babies
The only way to prevent problems like these from occurring is to care for your gums.
Often gum tissues around the necks of the teeth recede due to periodontal disease, genetically thin tissue, or aggressive oral hygiene. As a result of recession, tooth roots often become sensitive to cold. We can perform a variety of periodontal tissue augmentation procedures which can cover sensitive or unaesthetic root exposures. In addition to improving aesthetics, tissue grafting procedures provide a thicker band of tissue around the base of treated teeth which improves long-term prognosis.
Stages of Periodontal Disease
- Normal – Healthy gums are firm and pink in color.
- Early Periodontal disease – Gums are red and begin to swell, and may bleed easily.
- Moderate Periodontal disease – Bone tissue starts to deteriorate. Gums begin to detach from teeth making the tooth roots exposed to decay. May be sensitive to hot and cold.
- Advanced Periodontal disease – Radical bone and tissue loss. Teeth become loose, and if left untreated, tooth extractions and tooth replacement options may be needed.
The areas examined in our oral examinations include head/neck, jaw, mouth, teeth, gums, intra-oral/extra-oral soft tissues, and mouth cancer screening. We use the latest technology for your oral examination. We will also discuss home care techniques.
Treatment of Periodontal Disease
The goals of treating periodontal disease include removal of the plaque and tartar on the root surfaces and reduction of the pockets around the teeth. Since the pockets are where the bacteria live, we reduce the pocket depths thus reducing the surface area in which the bacteria can live. Early disease is often treated with scaling and root planning. Moderate and advanced periodontal disease often require additional periodontal procedures to treat effectively.
- Scaling – Tooth scaling is necessary when plaque and tartar are detected at or below the gum line. Plaque and tartar are then scraped off the tooth's crown and root.
- Planning – In many cases after scaling, the tooth's surface is smoothed by root planing.
- Place bristles along the gum line at a 45 degree angle. Gently brush using a circular motion along tooth surfaces.
- Brush each tooth individually! Tilt brush vertically behind the front teeth. Using the front half of the brush use the same circular motion.
- Place the brush against the biting surface of the teeth and use a gentle back and forth motion. Brush the tongue to remove odor producing bacteria, or use a tongue scraper.
Wrap 18" of floss around middle fingers. Pinch floss between thumbs and index fingers, leaving 1"-2" length in between. Use thumbs to direct floss between upper teeth, and index fingers for lower teeth.