WHAT IS PERIODONTAL DISEASE?
Gum disease is the top chronic disease in the world with 80 to 85% of American adults suffering from some degree of gum disease. Gum disease, also known as periodontal disease, is an infection in the gums that starts out as plaque and then hardens into tartar. As the tartar builds, bacteria begin to attack soft tissue around the gums. The early stages of gum disease is Gingivitis or gum inflammation which if left untreated will become periodontitis. Periodontitis breaks down the very ligament that attaches your teeth to the supporting bone structures that hold them in place.
HOW DO I KNOW IF YOU HAVE PERIODONTAL DISEASE?
Most people don’t realize that they have gum disease because it is painless and there are very few symptoms. Some of the symptoms include tooth mobility, bad breath and bleeding gums. This is why it is important to get your teeth cleaned at least twice a year which includes a review of your medical history and exam to detect any gum disease and tooth decay before it is too late. An up-to-date medical history helps us to recognize conditions, medications or genetic factors that can lead to more advanced and rapid forms of gum disease.
HOW DO WE TREAT PERIODONTAL DISEASE?
We use both non-surgical and non-invasive procedures to treat gum disease, but for more advanced cases can perform surgical treatment. Minimally invasive procedures for gingivitis include periodontal deeper cleanings. This is when we remove the tartar from under deeper spaces between teeth and gums. Such procedures are done with full anesthesia. Often we apply antibiotics during multiple appointments for non-surgical treatments that will help to control the growth of bad bacteria. Advanced cases may require a combination of both surgical and non-surgical approaches like a gingival flap surgery, laser assisted flap surgery, etc that would be often complemented with usage of antibacterial medications whenever is indicated. We customize our treatment plans to treat your needs using proven procedures that accomplish the best results. We can also coordinate our efforts with your primary care physicians to maintain best practices that ensure your well being and best standard of care.
WHAT ELSE SHOULD I KNOW ABOUT GUM DISEASE?
We recommend that you have your dental cleanings every 3 to 6 months especially if you have common conditions such as high blood pressure, diabetes, suffering from any heart problems, any auto immune disorders or when you become pregnant. Special care should be taken if you are receiving radiation or chemotherapy, being prepared for any organ transplant or your doctor suggested a replacement of your knee or hip joints. Such procedures are especially sensitive to presence of any infection including the one that originates from your oral cavity. More likely then not , your oncologist, transplant or orthopedic surgeon will ask us to verify that your teeth and surrounding tissues are free of infection that can compromise the treatment that is being planned for you. (hyperlink to a blog article).