Periodontal Disease (Gum Disease)

What is Periodontal Disease?

Periodontal diseases, or gum disease, is the results of inflammation and infection of the tooth’s surrounding tissues including the gums and the bone. When left untreated, these diseases can lead to tooth loss as well as systemic concerns. In the early stages, called gingivitis, the gums become red, puffy and may bleed when brushing or flossing. In later stages, called periodontitis, the bone can be lost and the tooth becomes loose eventually falling out or needing to be extracted.

Periodontal Disease risk factors:

  • Age, gender and genetics
  • Tobacco use
  • Poor oral hygiene
  • Crowded teeth
  • Diabetes
  • Hormonal factors
  • Nutritional deficiencies
  • Adverse drug reactions
  • Underlying immuno-deficiencies
  • Stress
  • Taking medications that cause dry mouth
  • Ill-fitting restorative dental work

Signs of Periodontal Disease:

  • Bad breath or bad taste
  • Red or swollen gums
  • Loose teeth
  • Sensitive teeth
  • Recession (gums have pulled away from tooth)
  • Painful when chewing
  • Bleeding gums

Dental Hygiene Assessments and Diagnosis:

Your Floss hygienists will evaluate and identify the presence of gingival inflammation by assessing the color, contour, texture, and consistency of your gums. Also, we will also check for bleeding upon probing, attachment loss, depths of pockets, mobility, furcation involvement, malocclusion, status of dental restorations and on radiographs to check patterns, and amount of bone loss. Interpreting this data as well as a comprehensive health history will allow for a better understanding of your periodontal health.

Treatment and Prognosis:

Early stages of gingivitis, can be reversed and controlled with good oral hygiene habits such as brushing twice a day, flossing/waterpiking daily, and with frequent visits to Floss Dental Boutique for routine dental hygiene care. Early to moderate Periodontitis can be treated and stabilized with a non-surgical procedure called Scaling and Root Planning. This includes removing the bacteria and diseased tissues from the pocket while smoothing the tooth’s root surface, so the gums can tighten and become healthy again. Laser therapy can also be used in conjunction with Scaling and Root Planing to disinfect the disease-infected pocketed space of diseased tissues. Medication, such as Arestin can be administered locally to control the disease. After these processes are complete, it is important to stay on a frequent recare schedule called Periodontal Maintenance to prevent the disease from becoming active again.