Periodontal Therapy An Overview
Healthy gums play an essential role in supporting the teeth and structure of the bite. Maintaining gum health supports long-term oral health and protects patients from secondary oral and systemic health conditions.
Gum disease is a health condition that is caused by the build-up and spread of disease-causing bacteria. Bacteria multiply and create deep pockets into the gum line. Inflammation of the gums cause the gum line to recede, and in some cases, the gum line detaches from teeth leaving the teeth susceptible to loss. Gum disease is a leading cause of tooth loss.
The “mouth-body” connection concept is important to understand when considering gum health. Many recent studies indicate that patients with gum disease are at a higher risk of developing severe systemic and cardiovascular disease. Patients with gum disease are encouraged to visit the dentist more frequently to monitor and control the spread of bacteria.
Gum disease is a prevalent disease that affects the health and stability of the gums and teeth. Nearly 75% of adult patients experience some degree of periodontal disease. Gum disease can occur in both children and adult patients. Routine visits to the dentist, and good at home oral hygiene are the best ways to prevent and control the development of gum disease in patients of all ages.
Stages of Gum Disease
There are two key stages of gum disease, each of which can have a progression of symptoms.
Gingivitis: This is the first stage of gum disease that is characterized by red, swollen or irritated gums that may bleed when brushing your teeth. It is typically caused by bacteria in the plaque that builds up around your gums. Gingivitis can usually be treated conservatively with success to avoid further infection and damage.
Periodontitis: If gingivitis is left untreated, it will develop into periodontitis, the advanced stage of gum disease with complex symptoms including receding gums and loose teeth. In this stage of gum disease, the bacteria in the plaque actually cause the gums to become infected which will result in damage to the soft tissue and bone that support your teeth.