Periodontal Disease is considered a silent disease because it’s painless and invisible to the untrained eye in its early stages. Regular checkups are key in early detection. The earlier gum disease can be addressed, the better the chances for a successful treatment.
Not only is gum disease a frequent cause for tooth loss in adults, but it can also prompt other health issues such as heart disease, kidney disease and Alzheimer’s. Regular dental exams and cleanings will help reduce your risk for gum disease and assist you in maintaining good oral hygiene practices home.
If left to accumulate, the bacteria in plaque can encourage inflammation of your gums. If this inflammation is left untreated it may result in gum disease. Gum disease is characterized by your gum and bone receding from the around your teeth, forming pockets. Food and debris can collect in these pockets developing more bacteria and causing infection. Beyond this stage, two things can happen: the gum and bone continue degenerating, releasing their hold on your teeth, making them loose and possibly cause them to fall out. Also, the bacteria can migrate through other parts of your body, introducing further infection and disease.
Gum disease is diagnosed through a periodontal exam. A small probe is used to measure the depth or pocket space between your gums and teeth. The deeper the pockets, the more chance for gum disease – pockets deeper than three millimeters are usually cause for concern.
We will perform a visual assessment, looking for inflammation and bleeding. The texture and color of your gums will be reviewed, along with tooth mobility. It’s imperative to catch gum disease early before irreversible damage is done.
Treatment of gum disease varies with the severity. If caught in the very early stages of inflammation (gingivitis), one or two dental cleanings should halt the progress and get your gums healthy once again.
If the inflammation has slightly advanced to into gum disease, a deeper cleaning – scaling and root planning – is necessary. This process calls for numbing your gums to remove tartar and plaque above and below the gum line. We may also advise you to use medicated mouth rinses and electric toothbrushes to promote healing and contain infection.
If your pockets do not heal after the scaling and root planning, periodontal surgery may be required.
Regular twice-daily brushing and flossing are critical to impeding gum disease. It only takes 24 hours for plaque to turn into tartar on your teeth and start doing damage.
Along with your home-care cleaning regiment, regular dental exams and cleanings are recommended. Prevention is the cheapest and most reliable way to keep your gums and teeth healthy and strong.
More and more evidence arises that connects poor oral health – including gum disease – to other diseases and ailments such as heart disease, Alzheimer’s and respiratory diseases. But where is the connection?
If your mouth is not regularly cleaned, the bacteria in your mouth will accumulate and induce infection in the form of gum disease. The mouth is a pathway to the rest of your body, and bacteria can migrate from there to other parts of your body. Leaking into your blood, the bacteria can kick off infections in your heart, brain or lungs, causing disease or even death.
Also, existing ailments such as diabetes or autoimmune diseases lower your body’s ability to fight infections. With your immune system already strained it’s not as strong to fight the bacteria in your mouth.
Anyone, young or old, is susceptible to gum disease if they do not clean and care for their teeth on a regular basis. If your eyes are the window to the soul, then your smile is the door. It’s important to understand the connection between keeping your mouth, body, and soul healthy. We can provide you with more in-depth information on the connection between your mouth and overall health.