What is Periodontal Disease?
Periodontal disease, also known as gum disease, is a bacterial gum infection that destroys the attachment fibers and supporting bone that holds your teeth in your mouth. The main cause of the disease is bacterial plaque – a sticky, colorless film that constantly forms on your teeth. Daily brushing and flossing is a must to prevent plaque build-up.
Periodontal literally means “around the tooth.” Periodontal disease begins when the bacteria in plaque — the sticky, colorless film that constantly forms on your teeth — causes your gums to become inflamed.
Gingivitis is the mildest form of the disease. Gingivitis causes the gums to become red, swollen and bleed easily. Usually, there is little or no discomfort. At this stage, gingivitis is reversible with professional treatment and good home oral care. Your general dentist is capable of treating the early stages of periodontal diseases. Left untreated, mild, moderate and advanced periodontitis can destroy bone and tissue and lead to the loss of teeth.
When the disease progresses and threatens your oral health, many Great Lakes Bay Region dentists turn to the team at Dr. William E. Mason Periodontics & Dental Implants.
If you’ve been referred here, then your dentist knows Dr. William E. Mason and Dr. Monica A. Lamble each had three years of specialty classroom and clinical training. Your dentist recognizes that the additional training enables our doctors to offer advanced periodontal and dental implant treatment.
Signs of Periodontal Disease?
- Bleeding gums during brushing
- Red, swollen or tender gums
Pus between the teeth and gums
Loose or separating teeth
- Gums pulling away from the teeth
- Persistent bad breath
A change in the way your teeth fit together when you bite
A change in the fit of partial dentures
How is Periodontal Disease Treated?
Treatment depends on how far the disease has progressed. If caught in the early stages, simple procedures remove the plaque and calculus from below the gumline and eliminate the infection-causing bacteria. This procedure goes by many names, including deep cleaning, root cleaning, or scaling and root planing.
Monitoring the condition will determine whether further treatment is necessary. A hard appliance, similar to an orthodontic retainer, may be recommended to prevent further tooth movement and to protect your teeth.
Patients are often seen regularly for supportive periodontal treatment, including periodontal cleaning. Periodontal disease is chronic, just like diabetes. Without ongoing treatment, the disease will progress.
Risk Factors for Periodontal Disease?
Pregnancy and puberty
How Can I Prevent Periodontal Disease?
To keep your teeth for a lifetime, you must remove plaque from your teeth and gums every day by brushing and flossing. Regular dental visits, at least twice a year, are also important. Daily cleaning will keep calculus formation to a minimum, but it won’t completely prevent it.