Among the causes for periodontal (gum) disease are genetic susceptibility, smoking, and other illnesses like diabetes. Periodontal maintenance involves removing plaque and tartar from above and below the gum line. Most gum diseases are preventable with proper oral hygiene. However, what can start out as gingivitis (inflamed or bleeding gums) can quickly turn into periodontitis. In such cases, gums pull away from the tooth and bone loss occurs around the root surface to create “pockets,” thereby exposing a dental root to infection. It can also lead to prolonged bad breath, loose teeth, painful chewing and other complications.
Diagnosing Gum Disease
Diagnosing gum disease involves evaluation of radiographs, measuring pocket depths between the tooth and the gums, evaluating amount of bone loss if any, and evaluating how much tartar is below the gumline.
Once gum disease has been diagnosed, the type of treatment will be determined by the severity of bone loss and disease.
If you have bone loss, or missing teeth, our periodontist can perform many procedures to save existing teeth or replace missing teeth. If periodontal disease is mild or moderate, treatment may involve deep cleaning and home care instruction. More severe cases require surgery and or removal of some teeth. Our periodontist can perform all of these procedures, as well as options to replace missing or extracted teeth including implants and bone grafts.