Among the causes for periodontal (gum) disease are genetic susceptibility, smoking, and other illnesses like diabetes. Periodontal maintenance involves removing plaque and tartar from above and below the gum line. Most gum diseases are preventable with proper oral hygiene. However, what can start out as gingivitis (inflamed or bleeding gums) can quickly turn into periodontitis. In such cases, gums pull away from the tooth to create “pockets,” thereby exposing a dental root to infection. It can also lead to prolonged bad breath, loose teeth, painful chewing and other complications.
Diagnosing Gum Disease
The hygienist, along with the dentist, checks for the health of your gums by gently probing the gums and measuring the pockets around your teeth. They may even check for any mobility of the teeth and assess whether your need a regular or deep cleaning.
Mild to moderate gum disease can be treated in our office with a deeper cleaning called a scaling and root planing. In certain cases, the dentist may recommend placing antibiotics in the pockets to help speed up healing. Your dentist and hygienist will go over comprehensive oral hygiene routines and follow up with frequent periodontal maintenance appointments to ensure your gums and bone continue to stay healthy. More advanced gum disease, known as periodontitis, may necessitate the intervention of a periodontist. Periodontal surgery along with any other regenerative procedures such as bone and gum grafts may become necessary.