Fight gum disease to prevent loosening and loss of teeth
Periodontal disease is an infection of the gums and bone that support the teeth. Periodontal treatment is performed when a patient has gum disease. This disease is caused by plaque and tartar which are bacteria and particles that are deposited on teeth. Untreated gum disease can become very serious, causing teeth to become loose or fall out. When bacteria cause inflammation in the gums or an infection it is called Gingivitis. This can cause red and swollen gums, pain, bleeding, itch, and bad breath.
You can prevent and treat gingivitis by having a good dental hygiene; brushing and flossing your teeth correctly every day, and visiting a dental professional. If gingivitis is not taken care of correctly it can advance to become Periodontitis.
Periodontitis is an inflammation around the tooth. Plaque accumulates below the gums affecting the tissues that surround and support the teeth, causing them to fall out, loosen, or move.
The teeth are thoroughly cleaned both above and below the gum line to remove tartar and plaque that have accumulated on the tooth surfaces, and the irritated gum tissue is removed. This process is called scaling the teeth. In addition, the roots of the teeth are smoothed to reduce the tendency of plaque to deposit on the teeth. This process is called root planing. If the gum disease is severe, additional treatment may be required including local antibiotics placed around the teeth or gum surgery.
Scaling and root planning is an effective way to remove the bacteria, plaque, and tartar that have deposited on the tooth surface, which may cause gingivitis and periodontitis.
The process of scaling and root planning may cause the gums to shrink around the tooth, causing the teeth to appear taller, and spaces to appear between teeth along the gum line. Additionally, tooth sensitivity may occur, which may require additional treatment. The success of periodontal treatment depends on the home care of the person, and meticulous daily hygiene is required to prevent gum disease from coming back.
The only real alternative is to remove the tooth with gum disease. However, this will require a dental implant, partial denture, or bridge to fill the empty space and prevent the shifting of surrounding teeth. These solutions will ultimately cost more than the scaling and root planning (or other periodontal treatments) and they may never equal the quality of keeping your natural tooth.
← Back to General Dentistry