Periodontal Disease – Gum Disease
The statistics on Americans with gum disease are quite startling— about half of us experience bleeding gums after age thirty. The silver-lining of gum disease is that it’s treatable if diagnosed early. That’s where visits to Lafayette Restorative Dentistry plays a key role in the prevention of gum disease. Dr. Lalonde and his team want your mouth to be as healthy as it can be and for as long as it can. In order for that to happen, we recommend you see us bi-annually so we can begin treatment and eliminate the progression of problems.
Inflammation has been in the news in recent years as a real indicator of disease and health problems. In the case of your oral health, these reports ring true. Inflammation is the instigator for the onset of what could become gum disease or periodontitis, also known as periodontal disease. Essentially, all three terms can be used to identify various levels of symptoms that begin as swollen and bleeding gums and progress from there.
Read below for more information about Periodontal Disease.
What is periodontal disease? / What is gum disease?
Periodontal disease is caused by naturally occurring bacteria in dental plaque. Dental plaque is a sticky substance that consistently grows on your teeth and can mostly be removed by brushing twice daily and flossing each night. However, when plaque is not removed it will eventually multiply and harden into tartar. Tartar is the hard substance a dental hygienist can remove with a special tool at a cleaning appointment. When plaque and tartar are left untreated, swollen and bleeding gums will eventually occur and are the first signs of periodontal disease, which is called gingivitis. If the gingivitis is left untreated it can lead to a more serious stage known as periodontitis or loosening of the teeth. Unfortunately, this is how tooth loss can occur.
What are the symptoms of periodontal disease?
The symptoms of periodontal disease include:
- Red and swollen gums
- Gums that bleed when you brush or floss
- Painful or tender gums
- Puffy gums
- Gum recession (gums have pulled away from the tooth)
- Bad breath
- Teeth that move or are loose
- An unusual or bad taste in your mouth
How does Dr. Lalonde treat periodontal disease?
Dr. Lalonde will thoroughly examine your mouth to assess what level, if any, of gum disease you may have. If the level is less invasive, he can offer non-surgical treatment such as scaling and root planing. Scaling and root planing involves a deep cleaning of the root surfaces of the teeth to remove plaque and tartar from deep areas of the gums and to rid the tooth root of toxins. After the thorough cleaning is performed the area may be flushed with an anti-bacterial solution and the patient could be prescribed an oral antibiotic.
Often, after scaling and root planing, many patients do not require further treatment but will follow ongoing periodontal therapy maintenance.
Surgical treatment for periodontal disease that has progressed to a more serious level will involve Dr. Lalonde to remove the dead, damaged, or infected tissue from the mouth. Gingivoplasty can also be performed to reshape healthy gum tissue around the teeth to make the smile more appealing again. Dr. Lalonde is highly skilled and experienced to perform these procedures to create a healthy and beautiful smile for you. After treatment, you will have a brand new healthy and beautiful smile again!
If you’re concerned that you may have gum disease, please call our office at 765-204-2328. We are a judge-free office and will do all we can to bring you comfort.
Can I Grow Back My Gums?
Have you noticed your teeth growing longer or that your gums are pulling away from your teeth? Then you most likely have receding gums. Receding gums pull back, exposing the tooth roots, which do not have the same enamel or protective layer as the crown of the tooth. This can cause discomfort in eating and drinking with hot and cold temperature changes. So, here begs the question, can I grow my gums back if they’re already receding? Unfortunately, gum tissue doesn’t regenerate the way other tissue in the human body does. However, full gums are not far off. With recent developments in gum can many times be reversed, and the tissues can be restored very close to its original appearance.
What are Receding Gums and What Causes them?
This condition is caused by a few different things, but the two most common are periodontal disease and over-aggressive tooth brushing. Other causes include1 trauma to gum tissue, genetics, smoking or tobacco use, and more. The National Institute of Dental and Craniofacial Research says periodontal (gum) disease is an infection of the [soft] tissues [and bone] that [support] your teeth in place. It’s typically caused by poor brushing and flossing habits that allow plaque—a sticky film of bacteria—to build upon the teeth and harden [and becomes tartar]. This condition can lead to sore, bleeding gums, bone infection around the teeth, and when it becomes more advanced tooth loss. Before the age of 35, tooth decay is the most common reason for tooth loss. After the age of 35, periodontal disease is the most common reason for tooth loss.
Gum Grafts are a relatively common procedure. Dr. Lalonde knows that there are different treatments for the severity and type of gum recession, and he’d be glad to help you figure out what the best step is for you.