Periodontal Treatment for Gum Disease

by Patricia Woloch - Date: 2008-11-21 - Word Count: 515 Share This!

About 30 to 50% of all Americans suffer from periodontal disease. Periodontal disease is gum disease and is caused by a bacterial infection in the periodontal pockets. It can affect one tooth or many teeth, and if left untreated, can result in tooth loss or other serious health problems.

Bacteria begin thriving in plaque, which is the colorless, sticky film that forms on the teeth. The gums become inflamed as bacteria adhere to the tooth's surface and progress into the bones. As the bones disintegrate the teeth start to loosen and can fall out.

Gingivitis and periodontitis are the most common forms of periodontal disease. Your dentist uses a probe on the soft gum tissues to diagnosis periodontal. If there are signs of periodontal disease, a periodontist can follow-up with a radiograph to determine how much bone loss the patient has suffered. Here are the most common forms of periodontal disease:


· Mildest form of periodontal disease

· Gums are red, swollen and bleed easily

· There's little discomfort at this early stage

· It's caused by poor oral hygiene

· It can be cured through professional treatment by your dentist and good oral home care


· An advanced stage of gingivitis

· Plague spreads below the gum line irritating the gums

· Gum tissues and bones begin to break down

· Gums separate from teeth becoming infected

· Symptoms are mild

Necrotizing periodontal disease

· An infection of tissues, ligaments and alveolar bone

· More common with suppressed immune systems caused by malnutrition and HIV infection

Signs and Symptoms

It is important to note that periodontal disease is largely painless and difficult for a patient to self-diagnose. Patients may assume that painless bleeding after their teeth are professionally cleaned is nothing to worry about but the bleeding could be a symptom of progressive periodontitis.Here are some other signs to look for:

· Gums are red or bleeding while burshing teeth, flossing or biting into hard food

· Recurring gum swelling

· Halitosis or bad breath

· Metallic taste in the mouth

· Receding gums (which may be caused by excessive brushing)

· Deep pockets between teeth and gums

· In later stages - loose teeth

Home Treatments

It is crucial to get regular dental check-ups and professional cleaning every six months to keep your teeth healthy and to identify the early signs of periodontal disease. Daily hygiene measures can help prevent periodontal disease:

· Brush at least twice a day including underneath the gumline

· Floss daily

· Clean behind the last tooth quarterly

· Use antispetic mouthwash with chlorhexidine gluconate or hydrogen peroxide as directed by your dentist.

Advanced Treatments

If daily hygiene is ineffective the next step is non-surgical removal of bacterial plaque by a dental professional. The procedure, called "scaling and root planing," involves cleaning below the gumline to eliminate bacterial infestation. It involves multiple visits and the use of a local anesthesia. If this method is unsucessful, surgery is the next option. An experienced periodontist can advise on the appropriate procedure depending on the specific disease pattern. Maintenance after the surgical procedure is also required for at least every 3 to 4 months be sure the disease doesn't come back.

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In Long Island, Westhampton, Southampton, New York, come see the periodontal disease specialists at Smile Solutions. Please visit our website at Let us take care of all your cosmetic dentistry needs because few things compare to the health and happiness of a beautiful smile.

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