Gum disease, or periodontal disease, is not one single disease, but several diseases with a common cause: dental plaque and bacteria.
Periodontal disease is the most common cause of tooth loss among adults. At Simi Hills Dental, we can help you stop periodontal disease in its tracks.
What is Periodontal Disease?
Periodontal disease is the inflammation of gums due to bacteria in the plaque. If plaque is allowed to accumulate, it can cause your gums to retreat from your teeth, forming widening pockets in which bacteria can collect. If left untreated, it can cause severe gum and bone tissue loss, resulting in loss of tooth.
This hardened plaque or tartar cannot be removed at home. To treat it, get an appointment at Simi Hills Dental.
Types of Periodontal Disease
Below are some common types of periodontal diseases:
Gingivitis is the earliest form of gum disease. It is marked by inflamed gums, which bleed while brushing. It also results in bad breath. Fortunately, this type of gum disease results in only a mild loss of gum tissues which can be stopped and reversed with a prophylaxis treatment at Simi Hills Dental. However, if allowed to progress, it can lead to a much more serious disease called periodontitis.
Periodontitis can result in loss of bone structure, in addition to the loss of soft tissue. The damage is often severe and irreversible. Symptoms include red, bleeding, and swollen gums, wide gum pockets, and loose teeth. If left untreated, it can lead to tooth loss.
Causes of Periodontal Disease
Although plaque is the key cause of periodontal disease, there are several factors that increase its risk. These include:
||Hormonal changes during puberty, pregnancy, menstruation, and menopause.
||Systemic and autoimmune illnesses, like diabetes, HIV, and cancer.
||Medications that cause dry mouth, which increases risk of infection and other conditions that cause abnormal tissue growth.
||Bad oral habits like smoking, abusing hallucinogenic drugs, and excessive intake of alcohol.
||Poor oral hygiene.
||Genetics or family history of gum disease.
Treatment for Periodontal Diseases
The American Academy of Periodontology recommends that the least invasive forms of treatment should be used to ensure periodontal health. These include:
Scaling and Root Planing
Scaling and root planing involves a deep cleaning of the tooth root to remove calculus and then smoothing out the surface to ensure bacteria does not adhere to the surface. This procedure is followed by the use of antibiotic medication and mouth rinses. In many mild to moderate cases of gum disease, root planing and scaling is enough to stop the disease.
These procedures can reverse some of the soft tissue and bone damage caused by periodontitis. This involves folding back the gum tissue and removing the disease-causing pathogens from the pockets. Bone grafts, membranes, and tissue-regenerating proteins like collagen may also be used to promote the growth of tissues and bone. This helps reduce gum pocket depth as well.
With a combination of routine oral hygiene, regenerative procedures can help keep your natural teeth intact.
However, nonsurgical intervention is limited, especially if your disease has progressed. If that happens, we can treat your gum disease with surgeries like gum grafts.
Periodontal disease can be extremely destructive to your oral health. If you think you have any of the symptoms described above, call us at (805) 317-4999 to schedule an appointment, and we will prepare a treatment plan for you.