When your gums are infected, you probably will not feel pain. Eight out of ten people in the United States have some form of gum infection . Gum infections are also called Periodontal Disease . That means it is a disease that surrounds your tooth . Gum Disease, Periodontal Disease, Gingivitis, Periodontitis are all infections in your mouth and for the most part are entirely preventable.
Periodontal Disease is a infection of the teeth, gums and bone and is the leading cause of tooth loss. The main cause is the sticky plaque that is hard to see and is loaded with bacteria. The bacteria invade the spaces between your tooth and gums releasing toxins that destroy bone. The lost bone never grows back and when too much bone is lost the teeth loosen and have to be removed or extracted. Bone loss can be regenerated with advanced bone grafting . Bone grafting will be covered in more detail and is most useful for implants or fixed bridges .
Bad breath, bleeding gums when you brush or floss, tender gums, swollen gums, loose teeth. Healthy gums don’t bleed. Gum Disease is painless most of the time, you don’t know you are infected which is the most destructive kind of infection because you don’t do anything about it. To you, bleeding gums are normal.
How is it Diagnosed?
Periodontal probing by the dentist or hygienist is the most effective way to diagnose the amount of damage you have suffered. X-Rays or Radiographs made of film or digital x-rays show bone loss, tartar on the teeth and length of your roots.
Treatment of Gum Disease
The patient’s ability to be consistent and effective with their home care is the single most important factor in the treatment of gum disease. Brushing the gums, flossing and using the water pik are the best tools and skills for the motivated patient. Health is seldom achieved unless the patient treats themselves effectively at home every night before bed and every morning. The dental office offers scaling and root planing to begin the process of removing all of the tartar and calculus from below the gum line.
The goal is to remove the infection by removing plaque, calculus or tartar from beneath the gum line. Routine cleanings are not enough. root planing removes the tartar below the gum line. It takes several appointments, as well as anesthetic and a big improvement in the patient’s home care in order to be successful. Hand scaling or the use of Ultrasonic Scaling are the most effective means.
Ultrasonic Scaling is the most effective: soft, quick vibration plus water flow that removes the tartar and bacteria from beneath the gum line. Critical in controlling periodontal disease and the removal of the infection of teeth, gums and bone. The sticky plaque is a film of bacteria that builds up, turns to tartar or calculus, causes periodontal pockets, and releases toxins that cause the immune system to produce enzymes that help destroy your jaw bone.
Swelling and inflammation of the gums is the first stage of periodontal disease. There usually is no pain. Bad breath and bleeding gums are common. The main cause is the accumulation of plaque which is a sticky film that forms consistently on your teeth. Bacteria invade the tooth, gums, produce toxins and cause bleeding. Gingivitis is easily reversed, but, if not treated, leads to a more serious infection.