Did you know that approximately four out of every five adults will develop some form of periodontal disease in their lifetimes? Gum (periodontal) disease is an extremely dangerous condition to one’s oral health – especially when it is in its advanced stages or goes untreated. Since gum disease has such devastating effects on people’s health, our dentist provides periodontal treatment that helps heal and preserve damaged oral tissue.
How Gum Disease Begins
The most common cause of periodontal disease is the accumulation of plaque and tartar from inadequate or improper oral hygiene. Over time, these substances will build up in the sulcus (the pocket where the gums and teeth meet). As tartar collects in this space, the sulcus will deepen and the gums will ultimately become inflamed and infected.
Tartar buildup cannot be removed by brushing or flossing and without professional dental cleanings, this substance will cause the gums to pull away from teeth. Eventually, the roots of teeth will be exposed to the irritants in the mouth. As the gums continue to recede, teeth will lack support and become loose.
Advanced gum disease is the leading cause of tooth loss and the condition can erode bone mass, too.
As with many other conditions, early detection normally means that a patient will receive less invasive treatment. If gum disease is caught early on, the condition can be remedied by practicing improved oral hygiene and receiving one or two professional cleanings to remove tartar. If gum disease is advanced, however, more specialized treatment is necessary.
Progressive gum disease may require deep prophylaxis called scaling and root planing. These two procedures are normally done in increments. Scaling involves accessing the innermost structure of the gums to remove infected tissue, debris, and tartar while root planing involves gently smoothing the roots of teeth to prevent new tartar deposits.
In some instances, patients may be prescribed antibiotics and special mouth rinses to combat the infection associated with gum disease. A gum graft may be recommended for more advanced stages of gum disease.
To schedule periodontal treatment or an examination with our dentist, contact the office of Dr. Barry Buchanan today.