Did you know that advanced periodontal disease is the number one cause of tooth loss among adults? Periodontal disease refers to any disease that affects the structures that hold the teeth in place, including gums, ligaments and bone. In its earliest stage, called gingivitis, the gums become inflamed. When it progresses to periodontitis, both soft and hard tissues that hold the teeth in place are affected, threatening the integrity of the teeth.
In most cases, periodontitis begins with plaque — a sticky film composed mainly of bacteria. Some other causes are plaque formation on your teeth, plaque can harden under your gum line into tartar if it stays on your teeth and plaque can cause gingivitis, the mildest form of periodontal disease. Gingivitis is irritation and inflammation of the part of your gum around the base of your teeth. Ongoing gum inflammation can cause periodontitis, eventually causing pockets to develop between your gums and teeth that fill with plaque, tartar and bacteria.
Some people are more susceptible to periodontal disease than others. Factors that can increase your risk of periodontitis include:
Treatment always depends on the level of your disease. For less severe cases of periodontitis, the dentist will remove infection-causing plaque with a method called scaling and root planning. Sometimes antibiotics or antimicrobial medications can reduce the size of gum pockets. More advanced treatment may have flap surgery or tooth extraction. The extracted tooth can be replaced by an implant.
Getting professional help is always necessary if you have any doubts regarding oral health. Periodontal disease if left untreated can lead to other health problems. Maintain good oral hygiene routine to avoid dental problems. Contact, Dr. Steven K. Miner to get treatment for periodontal diseases.