Periodontics is the study and treatment of what lies around the teeth. This is just as important to your oral health as the teeth themselves. If left untreated, gum disease can cause pain and damage to the gums, bone, and teeth nearby.
Gum disease, also known as periodontal disease, can be affected by a number of conditions such as diabetes, smoking, or autoimmune diseases. However, despite this list, the most common cause of gum disease is insufficient oral hygiene.
Plaque is a bacteria-ridden film that constantly forms around our teeth. Gum diseases start with the buildup of plaque. Regular brushing and flossing cleans away this film, keeping everything safe and healthy. Poor or non-existent oral hygiene allows plaque to stay put.
Eventually it hardens, forming a buildup called tartar. Tartar provides the perfect surface for gathering more plaque, which means even more tartar. It also irritates nearby tissue.
Once tartar has formed, it can only be removed professionally.
Gingivitis is a mild, early stage of gum disease.
Symptoms may include red or swollen gums, sensitivity to temperature, chronic bad breath, or minor bleeding. Very often, none of these symptoms seem particularly worrisome. However, if the tartar is not removed, gingivitis develops into a much more severe form of gum disease.
Periodontitis is what results from untreated gingivitis.
Exposure to the plaque bacteria incites a response from the body, in an attempt to fix the problem. Gums swell and redden even further. Along with that, the immune response actually breaks down bone in the jaw. Receding bone pulls the gums down, exposing much more of the tooth structure.
In this advanced stage, plaque—and therefore tartar—creeps down below the original gum line, continuing to irritate the surrounding tissues. This causes teeth to loosen and become even more susceptible to decay.
Step 1: Consistent home hygiene is crucial in the prevention and treatment of periodontal diseases. This includes both brushing and flossing on a regular basis. Talk to us for more information on proper techniques and schedules.
Step 2: Deep cleaning and scaling. Once tartar buildup begins, regular brushing cannot remove it. It is necessary to come in to the office for a deep cleaning. Our professionals will use cleaning tools to scale away all tartar and residue, restoring your mouth back to health.
Step 3: Repeat. Continue with consistent home hygiene and regular dental checkups.
If your gums show any of these symptoms, don’t hesitate to give us a call right away.