Gum disease is the main reason people need periodontal treatments, however, other gum conditions also require treatment.
Periodontal diseases are infections that affect the tissues and bone that support teeth. As the tissues are damaged, the sulcus develops into a pocket that is greater than three millimeters. Generally, the more severe the disease, the greater the pocket depth and bone loss.
Periodontal disease is caused by bacteria that attach to the teeth next to the gums. They cause an infection that can destroy the soft tissue and bone that support the teeth. If left untreated, gum disease can lead to tooth loss.
Types of Periodontal Diseases
There are many types of periodontal diseases and they can affect individuals of all ages from children to seniors.
- Gingivitis is the mildest form of periodontal diseases. It causes the gums to become red, swollen, and bleed easily. There is usually little or no discomfort at this stage. Gingivitis is reversible with professional treatment and good oral care at home.
- Chronic Periodontitis is a form of periodontal disease that results in inflammation within the supporting tissues of the teeth. Patients experience progressive loss of tissue attachment and bone. Chronic periodontitis is characterized by pocket formation and/or recession of gum tissue and is the most frequently occurring form of periodontitis. It is prevalent in adults, but can occur at any age. Progression of attachment loss usually occurs slowly, but periods of rapid progression can occur.
- Aggressive Periodontitis is a highly destructive form of periodontal disease that occurs in patients who are otherwise clinically healthy. Common features include rapid loss of tissue attachment and destruction of bone. This disease may occur in localized or generalized patterns.
- Periodontitis as a manifestation of systemic diseases – This form of periodontitis is associated with one of several systemic diseases, such as diabetes. Patients who have rare but specified blood diseases or genetic disorders frequently show signs of periodontal disease.
- Necrotizing periodontal diseases are infections characterized by necrosis (death) of gingival tissues, periodontal ligament and alveolar bone. These lesions are most commonly associated with pain, bleeding, and a foul odor. Contributing factors can include emotional stress, tobacco use and HIV infection.
When the sulcus develops deep pockets, it is difficult to completely remove plaque and tartar even with through daily oral hygiene. If the pockets do not heal after scaling and root planing, periodontal surgery may be needed to reduce the pocket depth and make teeth easier to deep clean.
The main goals of periodontal treatment at our dentistry are to:
- Eliminate the bacterial infections that cause gum disease
- Control the inflammatory process that destroys the tissues anchoring the teeth to the jawbones
- Create a healthy periodontal environment that is easy for you and your dental professional to maintain
From Healthy Gingiva to Advanced Periodontitis
Healthy gingiva (gum tissue), periodontal ligament and bone anchor teeth firmly in place.
Gingivitis develops as toxins, enzymes and other plaque byproducts irritate the gums, making them tender, swollen and likely to bleed easily.
Periodontitis occurs when plaque byproducts destroy the tissues that anchor teeth in the bone. As the disease progresses, pockets form, which allow more plaque to collect below the gum line. Tooth roots are exposed and become susceptible to decay and sensitive to cold and touch.
In advanced periodontitis, the teeth lose more support as the disease continues to destroy the periodontal ligament and bone, unless treated, the affected teeth frequently become loose and may fall out or require removal.
Treatment at any stage of periodontal disease can make your gums healthier. Losing your teeth does not have to come with of aging. Our experienced periodontist, Dr. Fraser, will help you keep your gums healthy and help you keep your teeth free of decay (cavities), so you can be able to keep your natural teeth for a lifetime.
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With the combination of Dr. Fraser’s professional treatment and effective home care, you can stop gum disease from getting worse.