Periodontal disease, or gum disease, refers to any disease that affects the tissue that supports and surrounds your teeth. It’s believed that 70% of Canadians will experience gum disease during their lifetime. The good news is that it can be prevented with proper oral hygiene, can be treated, and if treated early enough, it can be reversed. While many dental practices only perform cosmetic and general dentistry, at Dentistry on Bay, our experienced periodontist can provide treatment for gum disease. Symptoms of gum disease include:
Gingivitis (gum inflammation) is the first stage of gum disease and is the easiest to treat. Bacteria, formed from your saliva and the food you eat, can cause inflammation to the gums. In gingivitis the gums become red, swollen, and can bleed easily. Although the gums are irritated the teeth still have sufficient tissue and bone structure to keep the teeth firmly planted in their sockets. At this point no irreversible bone loss or other tissue damage has occurred.
Gingivitis usually proceeds to periodontitis (gum disease). However, it is important to keep in mind not all gingivitis progresses to periodontitis. With good brushing, flossing, and regular cleanings from your dental hygienist, gingivitis can be reversed.
Periodontitis, also known as gum disease or periodontal disease, is the progressed result of gingivitis. If homecare is ineffective and the gingivitis is left untreated by a dental professional, the bacteria will continue to spread below the gum line and infect the inside of the pocket. Eventually the by-products of these bacteria will cause the soft and hard tissue to degrade, forming a deeper pocket. This point of periodontal disease can cause infection to the roots of the teeth or can make the teeth loose and uncomfortable.
A periodontal pocket develops as the plaque and bacteria from the biofilm continue to accumulate and move below the gum line. At this point, home care is not very effective in removing the dental plaque. If it is left untreated by the dentist or dental hygienist, the biofilm will continue to spread below the gum line and infect the inside of the pocket. The bacteria in the plaque produce by-products that cause the adjacent soft and hard tissue to degrade, forming a deeper pocket in the process. This type of advanced periodontal disease can affect the roots of the teeth and they can become infected, too. The teeth may become loose or uncomfortable and the patient will require gum surgery. The patient would be required to have initial therapy to treat diseased periodontal pockets trough scaling and root planning. The dental hygienist would utilize an ultrasonic scaling device to remove plaque, tartar and food debris below the gum line and would hand scale the tooth and root surface to make it smooth and disease free. Scaling and root planning can be completed in two to four sessions depending on how much oral disease he patient may have. Thorough oral hygiene procedures would be reviewed with the patient to improve oral care cleaning techniques at home.
If you are experiencing any of the symptoms of gum disease, please don’t hesitate to call Dentistry on Bay to book an appointment. We conveniently have a Periodontist, Dr. Ghent on staff to assess, provide treatment options and to treat any periodontal disease