The two most common forms of gum disease, or periodontal disease, are gingivitis and periodontitis. Gingivitis is the inflammation of the gums at the ‘neck’ of the teeth. Periodontitis is inflammation that affects the bone and tissues of the teeth.
Both forms of gum disease start with bacterial growth in the mouth. In severe cases gum disease destroys the tissue surrounding the tooth leading to tooth loss. Gum disease is the leading cause of tooth loss in adults. Gingivitis is caused by the buildup of plaque causing inflammation. The gums can easily bleed during regular brushing. At this stage of gum disease the gums are irritated but the teeth themselves have not suffered from bone or tissue damage. However the plaque and tartar buildup causing the issue must be removed by an oral hygienist. Brushing your teeth with not remove the buildup.
If gingivitis is left untreated, it can escalate into periodontitis. Periodontitis is when the inner layer of the gums pull away from the teeth which forms pockets. These pockets collect all sorts of debris and can easily get infected. Bacteria which is found in the pockets and the plaque buildup create toxins that break down the bone and tissues that hold the teeth in place. The longer periodontitis is left untreated the deeper the pockets get and the more gum, tissue, and bone are destroyed. Eventually leading to tooth loss.
What can cause gum disease?
Plaque is primary reasons
Hormonal changes Illness
Bad habits (smoking, chewing, substance abuse)
Poor oral hygiene - not brushing, flossing, not having regular dental cleanings
What are the symptoms of gum disease?
Gums that bleed during/after brushing
Red swollen tender gums
Pus between teeth and gums
Persistent bad breath Receding gums
Loose or shifting teeth
Overly sensitive teeth to temperature
Treatment for gum disease
The goals of treatment are to reattach healthy gums to the teeth, reduce gum swelling, reduce the depth of the pockets, reduce infection, and stop the progression of gum disease.
Non surgical treatment options:
Dental cleaning performed by a hygienist to remove plaque and tartar build up. This treatment is best for preventing gum disease.
Scaling and root planing (SRP), sometimes referred to as a deep cleaning, is done under local anesthesia to treat gum disease. Plaque and tartar is removed above and below the gum line (scaling) and rough spots on the tooth root are made smooth (planing). Smoothing rough spots removes bacteria and allows the gum to reattach to the tooth.
Surgical treatment options:
A bone graft may need to be performed. A bone graft replaces the bone that has been destroyed by disease and serves as a platform for regrowth which restores stability to teeth. Guided tissue regeneration stimulates the bone and gum tissue when the bone that supports the teeth have been destroyed.
The doctors and hyigenists at Stubbs Dental will be able to diagnose your symptoms and give you the proper treatment. Contact us today if you are experiencing any of the symptoms above.