Periodontal health refers to the health of your gums, and is directly related to the long term health and appearance of your teeth.
Gum disease is an infection of the tissues which support your teeth, just below the gum line. As these tissues are damaged, they develop pockets of infection. Generally, the more severe the disease, the greater depth of the pocket and larger the level of bacteria in the pocket. Gum disease is difficult to get under control because as the bacteria causes inflammation, the gum actually recedes from the teeth, creating more space for additional bacteria.
There are two stages of severity when Dr. Shoumer and her team identify your periodontal health:
- Gingivitis: a milder and reversible form of periodontal disease affecting only the gums
- Periodontitis: a more seriously advanced case of gingivitis, which can extend into the bone.
Patients can help to avoid and defer the onset of Periodontal Disease. Some of the risk factors are:
- Tobacco smoking or chewing
- Other systemic disease (diabetes, for example)
- Some types of medications such as steroids, cancer therapy drugs, calcium channel blockers, oral contraceptives, and some anti-epilepsy medications
- Ill-fitting bridges
- Teeth not in proper alignment
- Defective fillings
You can help with the process as well by informing your dentist of the following:
- Gums which bleed easily
- Red, swollen or tender gums
- Gums receding from the toothline
- Bad taste in your mouth
- Loose permanent teeth
- Shifts in your bite or in the fit of any partial dentures
Our treatment plan will help you control the infection, and may include:
- A deep cleaning, called “scaling and root planing”. Scaling removes the tartar from above and below the gum line, and planing gets rid of rough spots on the tooth where bacteria forms.
- Use of medications such as antibiotics and enzyme suppressants
- Surgery, if the inflammation and deep pockets remain after initial treatments
“Flap Surgery” which can remove tartar deposits in deeper pockets
- Bone and Tissue graft, which may be necessary to encourage new growth of bone or gum tissue that has been destroyed by
- periodontal disease.