What is Gum Disease?
One of the most common oral health issues patients come in with is gum (periodontal) disease.
Despite your best efforts to maintain excellent oral health with at-home care, gum disease can still happen.
Your gums serve as a seal around your teeth, protecting the sensitive root areas. Gum disease occurs when there is infection in the tissues that support the teeth. When plaque collects and hardens on the teeth, it can eventually impact the gums.
Gum Therapy and Grafting
One of the gum disease treatments offered at Marine Dental Clinic includes gum grafting, surgical intervention to help prevent long-term health impacts from periodontitis. In this procedure, a dentist transplants a bit of gum from the roof of your mouth to an area where your gums have receded.
The tissue is attached with a special glue that adheres and protects the new graft so healing can take place. The specialized glue also protects the roof of your mouth.
Stages of Gum Disease
Gum disease is a progressive condition. This means that leaving it untreated can allow it to progress to later stages, with more serious consequences for oral and overall health. Stages of gum disease include:
Bacteria that hasn't been removed from gums and teeth can grow out of control and produce toxins that irritate the gums.
When calculus, also known as plaque, develops along the gum line, it forms a rough surface where plaque builds up. This causes irritation and swelling, resulting in bad breath or sore, bleeding gums.
Spaces between gums and teeth pockets can develop, but no bone damage occurs in this mild, reversible stage of periodontal disease.
Regular hygiene cleanings and exams are critical for maintaining the health of your gums. They also give your dentist the chance to check for developing gum disease.
Plaque (sometimes calculus) is the most common cause of periodontitis and is found under the gum line. This can lead to a breakdown in the ligaments, causing the gum to detach and pull away from the teeth.
As the pockets deepen, they fill with more bacteria and the bone's supportive ligaments start to become damaged, resulting in loose teeth.
- Advanced Periodontitis
The advanced stage of periodontitis leads to deep pockets that sometimes fill with pus. there may be swelling around the root and more bone loss, leading to loose teeth.
Tooth extraction may be a necessary remedy to preserve your general oral health.
The Gum Disease Treatment Process
Our dentists are able to work to identify and treat gum disease in our patients by identifying and diagnosing the symptoms listed below in order to begin treatment.
- Symptoms of Gum Disease
Sometimes, you won't notice any symptoms of gum disease. But some patients may experience symptoms including:
- Receding gums
- Bleeding in your gums
- Persistent bad breath
- Red or purple gums
- Sore or swollen gums
To diagnose gum disease, your dentist will measure the depth of pockets surrounding each tooth. Pockets deeper than 3 mm are considered hazardous and will usually need treatment.
Attending regular dental exams gives your dentist the opportunity to detect gum disease early and take preventive measures.
To treat gum disease, we remove bacteria and substances that get caught in pockets around your teeth. The removal of these bacteria requires great skill, as the process occurs on a microscopic level. Our dental team has the training and skills required to effectively remove the bacteria.
The process of eliminating bacteria typically requires multiple visits to our office. Once bacteria has been removed, your dentist must clean and maintain these pockets on a regular basis. Otherwise, bacteria can start to damage the bone.
- Long-Term Care
Generally, once you have had gum or periodontal disease, you will always need to pay extra attention to your oral health.
In addition to practicing diligent hygiene at home, you'll need to see us for regular cleanings to prevent the bone in your mouth and jaw from receding.
After the initial issue is treated, we will recommend you attend periodontal maintenance appointments every 3 to 4 months.