Periodontal diseases are infections of the structures around the teeth. These include the gums, the cementum that covers the root, the periodontal ligament and the alveolar bone. The early stage of periodontal disease is known as gingivitis and only affects the gums. In more severe forms of the disease, all of the supporting tissues are involved.
Periodontal disease is caused by bacteria in plaque. Plaque is the sticky substance that forms on your teeth soon after you have brushed. In an effort to get rid of the bacteria, the cells of your immune system release substances that inflame and damage the gums, periodontal ligament or alveolar bone. This ultimately leads to swollen, bleeding gums. Damage from periodontal disease can also cause teeth to become loose.
Periodontal disease can actually be easily prevented with proper care. Good oral hygiene and regular dental visits can keep your mouth clean and reduce the risk of periodontal disease.
Your gum health is directly related to your overall health. Luckily, we can help you protect both with a periodontal evaluation to check for gum (periodontal) disease. You should be seeing your dentist every six months to ensure a clean and healthy mouth. When it’s time to get your teeth cleaned, contact us at Jacaranda Dental.
Once an infection evolves into periodontal disease, professional intervention is essential in order to restore oral health. there are non-surgical and surgical options, which are recommended depending on the severity of the case.
More conservative options include scaling and root planing, which involves scraping plaque and tartar from the teeth and root surfaces. However, more intensive procedures include pocket reduction. This is sometimes necessary after scaling and root planing to snugly attach loose gum tissue to healthy bone. Gum grafts are also common, allowing your dentist to cover exposed roots with tissue taken from your palate or another source. This protects from further decay and recession.