Periodontal (gum) disease is caused by PLAQUE, a colorless film of bacteria that forms on the teeth. Plaque is most harmful when these bacteria form into colonies-that takes about 24 hours. If not removed daily, plaque mixes with sugars and starches in the diet to form acids and other by-products in the mouth. Plaque irritates the gums, causing them to become red, tender and swollen. It also causes the gums to bleed easily.
Gingivitis is an early form of periodontitis, or gum disease. If you experience an occasional swelling of the gums, gums that bleed after brushing or flossing, itchy gums, or bright red or purple gums, chances are you have gingivitis. Gingivitis can be treated by having your teeth professionally cleaned, followed by a strict oral hygiene regimen, including anti-bacterial rinses.
Left untreated, gingivitis can escalate into periodontitis – although there are other factors that can contribute to the disease, including smoking, genetic tendencies, and unchecked diabetes. Periodontitis symptoms include those of gingivitis, as well as a metallic taste in the mouth, receding gums, enlarged spaces between the gums and teeth, severe halitosis (bad breath), and even loose teeth (from loss of bone).
Most people with periodontal disease have few or no warning signs. If you see any of these signs, please call us:
- Gums and Tissues that bleed when you brush and/or floss.
- Red, Swollen, or Tender gums.
- Bad Breath or Halitosis.
- Loose or Separating teeth.
The treatment for periodontal disease requires consistency and several visits. To control the periodontal disease and limit its progression, we remove the buildup of bacterial plaque using sonic vibration. Scaling and Root planning is utilized to reduce the bacterial levels in the mouth and control the infection in the tissues. Alternatively, small pads treated with antibiotic solutions can be placed between the teeth and gums, which also help to reduce plaque and combat the disease. Antibiotics in conjunction with these procedures are sometimes utilized. Periodontal disease will not go away by itself and treating the course of the disease can prevent tooth loss and infection.