Taking care of your mouth is essential for keeping it healthy. Without proper oral care, your risk of serious issues, including periodontal disease, significantly increases. Periodontal disease, commonly called gum disease, is a progressive condition that affects not only your gums but your jawbone, your teeth, and even your whole-body health. When it first starts, however, you might not even know that there is anything wrong. At State Street Dental we can help to treat periodontal disease, restoring your oral health and preventing serious complications.
How Does Periodontal Disease Progress?Periodontal disease starts when plaque and bacteria accumulate on your teeth. These substances cause your gums to become irritated. The irritation triggers an inflammatory response, which causes the gums to swell. You may also notice that your gums begin bleeding when you brush or floss. These are the earliest symptoms of gum disease. Unfortunately, they often go unnoticed or ignored, which allows the condition to worsen.
As the gums swell, they begin to pull away from your teeth, leading to the formation of periodontal pockets. Bacteria, plaque, and other debris get trapped. The pockets grow deeper and deeper. Your gums begin to recede, which causes your teeth to appear longer and can lead to tooth sensitivity. As the bacteria reach your jawbone, they can cause the bone to weaken. As a result, your teeth become loose. They may even fall out.
What Causes Periodontal Disease?One of the biggest causes of periodontal disease is poor oral hygiene. When you do not brush and floss regularly, or have routine cleanings and exams, plaque and bacteria can freely accumulate on your teeth. The accumulation can then lead to irritation.
Crooked teeth can also lead to periodontal disease. Crooked teeth are more difficult to clean properly. Difficult to clean areas create hiding places for plaque and bacteria. You may also develop periodontal disease as a result of issues such as dry mouth, lifestyle habits like smoking or other tobacco products, and hormonal changes such as pregnancy.
How is Periodontal Disease Treated?The treatment you receive for periodontal disease will depend upon how advanced the condition is when you are diagnosed. A common treatment for the condition is scaling and root planing. This is a treatment that involves cleaning the visible surfaces of your teeth as well as the root surfaces. It is essentially a deep cleaning of your teeth to eliminate all buildup from all surfaces of your teeth. By cleaning and smoothing your teeth, it becomes more difficult for new bacteria to adhere. It also helps to alleviate the irritation on your gums, allowing them to heal.
In some cases, a single treatment may not be enough. You may require periodontal maintenance. This treatment involves regularly scheduled appointments to help restore the health of your mouth. During these appointments, your mouth is examined, and periodontal pockets are measured. X-rays may be taken. Your teeth are also cleaned to help eliminate any new accumulation. The frequency of your appointments depends upon your specific needs.
For more advanced stages of gum disease, surgical procedures may be necessary. Pocket reduction surgery is done to clean pockets that are too deep to clean with scaling and root planing. Osseous surgery is performed when bacteria have affected your jawbone and caused bony defects. You may also require a soft tissue or bone graft to restore gum tissue or bone mass.
Treating periodontal disease is essential for stopping its progression and restoring the health of your mouth. If you suspect that you have periodontal disease, call State Street Dental at (971) 332-3020 to schedule your appointment today.