Periodontal Disease And Its Treatment

Some people pay particular attention to the health of their teeth in an effort to avoid cavities. However, they may not realize that the state of their gums is also important. 

Periodontal disease can lead to tooth and bone loss. Many people suffer gum issues as they grow older.

Here is a bit of information about periodontal disease and how it can be treated.

What Is Periodontal Disease?

Periodontal disease is gingival inflammation that can progress to an infection of the gums. It can vary in severity. 

In the early stages, the patient may notice only mild symptoms. The gums may bleed a bit during brushing sessions. Also, they may appear redder than usual or look a bit swollen.

If the condition is not reversed, it can progress to periodontitis, a severe form of gum disease that includes the development of pockets between the gums and the teeth. These pockets, or spaces, allow the accumulation of ,plaque and oral bacteria that can cause a gingival infection. The deeper the pockets, the more severe the periodontitis is likely to be. The infection can even spread to the jawbone.

What Causes Periodontal Disease?

Periodontal disease is caused by irritating acids that inflame the gums. The acids are produced by oral bacteria as byproducts when the microbes digest their food.

Since plaque and tartar, which contain bacteria, often build up at the gum line, the acids are frequently released in direct contact with the gingival tissues. This close proximity allows little opportunity for the saliva to weaken or neutralize the acids. 

How Is Periodontal Disease Treated?

The treatment for periodontal disease is based on its severity. During the earliest stage, which is called gingivitis, the condition can be treated with at-home measures. Meticulous brushing and flossing can help remove plaque and oral bacteria that incite the disease. Additionally, antibacterial mouth rinses may be used to kill oral microbes. 

As the condition progresses into periodontitis, professional treatment is required. The dentist may treat the condition with a root planing and scaling procedure. During the treatment, the gums are pulled back and the roots of the teeth are smoothed. They are also scaled to clear away any tartar buildup. The gingival pockets are also cleared of bacteria. 

Once the root planing and scaling treatment is complete, the inflammation and the pockets resolve. In turn, the gums heal. 

If your gums are showing signs of periodontal disease, schedule an appointment with a periodontist in your local area.