Periodontal disease, also known as gum disease, is an infection of the gums that can cause irreversible soft tissue damage and bone loss if left untreated. Gum disease is a progressive disease and is only reversible in the very early stages. Symptoms include red, swollen, receding, and bleeding gums as well as exposed tooth roots, bad breath, and bone loss. Contact us at Washington Dental Studio today to schedule an appointment with Dr. Rohan Shah in Naperville.
Gum disease increases your risk of heart disease, stroke, and diabetes.
You will come in for a consultation where Dr. Shah will examine your gums and teeth to look for signs of gum disease. X-rays will be taken to confirm the presence of gum infection and to plan gum treatment.
Gum disease can be diagnosed by using a probe to measure the depth of pockets in the gums. Your gum’s pockets should be between 1-3 mm. Over 4 mm is considered periodontitis, which is irreversible gum disease.
Deep cleaning can be used to treat mild to moderate gum disease. Dr. Shah will use a scaler to scrape away plaque and tartar buildup along the gum line. Root planing is then performed to smooth out your tooth’s roots. This allows receding gums to reattach. You may also need antibiotics.
You will return to our Naperville office for follow-up visits to ensure the infection has been thoroughly treated. Multiple sessions may be required for deep cleaning. If the infection is too severe, you may need a referral to an oral surgeon who can perform gum surgery.
If plaque enamel is left untreated, it will harden into tartar and is a leading cause of gum disease.
Gum disease is caused by a buildup of plaque that is left untreated. This is typically a result of poor oral hygiene such as inadequate brushing and flossing. When plaque is left to fester, it hardens into tartar which irritates your gums.
This triggers an immune response in your body to try to get rid of the plaque and tartar, leading to inflammation. Bacteria become trapped in the gum’s pockets, leading to gum recession and bone destruction.
Gum disease can cause the following health issues:
- Gum recession
- Bone loss
- Loose teeth
- Tooth loss
- Gum pain
- A change in your bite
- Increased risk of heart attack and stroke
- Bleeding gums
The earliest stage of gum disease is known as gingivitis. This is the only reversible stage. However, because symptoms are usually mild at this point, they can easily go unnoticed and untreated, leading to the advancement of the disease. Once gum disease advances into periodontitis, it is irreversible.
Within the category of periodontitis, the infection can be considered initial, moderate, or advanced. Early-stage gum disease can be treated with a traditional dental cleaning while moderate gum disease can be treated with a deep cleaning involving scaling and root planing. However, advanced gum disease carries a high risk of tooth loss and may require surgery such as gum or bone grafting.
Plaque is difficult to remove by yourself but once it turns into tartar, it can only be removed by a professional dentist.