Periodontal or gum disease is an infection of the tissues that surround and support your teeth. It is a leading cause of tooth loss in Canadian adults. Good oral hygiene and regular dental examinations are essential in prevention and early detection of gum disease – which sometimes developing without any warning signs.
The inflammation and infection of gums, ligaments, bone, and other tissues surrounding the teeth. Gingivitis (gums disease) and periodontitis (gums and bone disease) are the two main forms of periodontal disease also called gum disease or pyorrhea.
Periodontal disease is an infection of the tissues that support your teeth. Periodontal disease, also known as gum disease, is one of the most common infections today. More than 75% of North Americans over 35 years of age have some form of periodontal disease. Although many are infected, few know they actually have the disease. In a recent study, 8 out of 10 people surveyed believed they did not have periodontal disease, 7 out of 10 exhibited one or more symptoms.
Gum disease is a gum infection that damages the soft tissue of the gum. Without treatment, gum disease can lead to severe decay of your teeth and destroy the bone that supports teeth. It can eventually lead to loosened or complete loss of your teeth.
Symptoms of gum disease include swollen gums, bright red or purple gums, gums that bleed easily, gums that are tender to the touch, and bad breath. Other symptoms include loosened teeth, painful chewing, receding gums, and new spaces developed between your teeth.
Gum disease is common but can be prevented with proper oral hygiene, such as regularly brushing your teeth, flossing every night, and regularly visiting your dentist.
Poor oral hygiene is one of the primary causes of gum disease. If you don’t regularly floss, brush, and rinse your teeth, the buildup of bacteria, along with food and other debris, creates plaque on your teeth.
Smoking is also a major cause of gum disease by affecting the attachment of the bone and soft tissue of your teeth. It interferes with the normal function of your gum tissue cells, which can lead to weakened or infected gum tissues.
Other causes of gum disease include certain medications that reduce your saliva, diabetes, hormonal changes, certain illnesses, and genetics.
The first step to treating gum disease is a deep cleaning of your teeth and gums. You want to control the infection so it doesn’t spread further in your mouth. Your dentist will clean in and around your gum and go under the gum line. They will also scrape off any tartar or plaque built-up on your teeth and perform root planing. Root planing is when the dentist smooths out the rough surfaces of the roots of your teeth to allow the tooth to better reattach to the gums.
The next step is medication. There are several types of medication, such as antibiotics, gels, microspheres, or surgery. Antibiotics, gels, and microspheres help reduce further infection and get rid of bacteria. If the problem is serious, your dentist may recommend surgery to cover exposed tooth roots or get tartar and build up from deep underneath your gum line.
It depends on the severity of your gum disease. Deep cleaning your teeth and removing any tartar or debris can help prevent further infections and allow your gums to heal and reattach to your teeth. The dentist may insert microspheres or oral or gel antibiotics to help you fight bacteria and heal the gums and tooth roots.
If these options don’t work, the dentist might recommend gum graft surgery or flap surgery further deep clean your gums and take soft tissue from other parts of your mouth to cover exposed areas.
Practicing good oral hygiene is a great way to prevent gum disease. You should also have a healthy, balanced diet and reduce smoking or the use of tobacco products. You should also be aware of gingivitis and reach out to your dentist if you notice any signs.