What Is Periodontal Disease?
Periodontal disease is a bacterial infection that attacks your gums. Also known as gum disease, periodontal disease causes the following symptoms when left untreated:
- Red, swollen, and tender gums
- Bad breath
- Loose teeth
- Bleeding when brushing or flossing
- Teeth don’t fit together when you bite down
- Teeth fall out
Types of Periodontitis
The early stage of periodontal disease is called gingivitis. At this stage, the condition can be easily treated. But if your gum disease advances to the periodontitis stage, it can devastate your smile. Types of periodontitis include:
- Chronic periodontitis — Inflammation within supporting tissues causes deep pockets and gum recession, making your teeth appear longer. This is the most common type of gum disease, with the gums progressively losing attachment.
- Aggressive periodontitis — This version is essentially the same as the chronic type, but it progresses more rapidly. You’re likely to require surgical intervention with this type of gum disease.
- Necrotizing periodontitis — A rare version of the disease, this type is more likely among people who suffer from HIV, immunosuppression, malnutrition, chronic stress, or those who smoke. With necrotizing periodontitis, tissue death occurs in the periodontal ligament, gingival tissues, and alveolar bone.
- Periodontitis caused by systemic disease — Periodontitis can also be a symptom of another condition that’s affecting your body. In these cases, even if you make sure to clear all the plaque off your teeth, your periodontal disease can still intensify.
Risk Factors for Gum Disease
Though anyone can develop gum disease, there are risk factors that increase your likelihood of contracting it. Some of these include smoking, diabetes, taking medication that reduces saliva production, certain health conditions, and a family history of the condition.
Your Treatment Options
At Corner Stone Dental, our dentists offer effective treatments for gum disease, so you can eat, talk, and live with confidence.
Also known as scaling and root planing, this deep cleaning removes the infection from your gums, giving your smile a chance to recover. Scaling involves cleaning out any bacteria and tartar in the gum pockets that form around the base of your teeth. We’ll also smooth out the roots to help them reattach to your teeth.
At Corner Stone Dental, we’re proud to offer laser treatments for periodontal disease. Laser therapy is less invasive and more accurate, and it promotes faster healing than alternative treatments.
Soft Tissue Grafting
After your periodontal treatment, our dentists can encourage the regrowth of gum tissue with gum grafting. We’ll take a small piece of soft tissue from another area of your mouth, usually the palate, and place it in the affected area to stimulate growth.
Frequently Asked Questions
Gum disease is most commonly caused by poor oral hygiene, though other conditions can intensify it. Daily brushing and flossing and regular checkups at Corner Stone Dental are the best ways to prevent periodontal disease.
Gingivitis is an early stage of periodontal disease — at this stage, the disease can often be reversed without extensive professional treatment. Once the disease progresses to the periodontitis stage, you’ll require dental treatment to restore your oral health.
Untreated gum disease can lead to soreness, bleeding, swelling, bad breath, and eventually, tooth loss. Once gum disease progresses beyond gingivitis, it can’t be reversed without professional help. Your gum disease won’t simply go away on its own and may worsen.
It’s best to use an ADA-approved mouthwash — just look for their seal of approval on any mouthwash you buy. If you’d like a personal recommendation, Dr. Wilson or Dr. Banker at Corner Stone Dental can advise you.