Though it isn’t the most common dental health issue, gum disease is the most frequent reason behind adult tooth loss. When oral bacteria gather along your gum line, they irritate the tissues until your gums begin to recede. Once inside these pockets, bacteria can gather on your teeth’s roots and multiply unimpeded, which can quickly lead to gum disease and the destruction of your gum tissues and jawbone.
Gum Disease Diagnosis
Gum disease, or periodontal disease, occurs in stages. Its first phase, called gingivitis, refers to the initial bacterial infection in your gums, and is marked by red, swollen, and often bleeding gum tissues. If any permanent damage has occurred in your gums, then it is likely that gum disease has fully developed, and you may soon lose jawbone density, too, if it matures into severe periodontitis. In addition to swollen and bleeding gums, advanced gum disease can also cause teeth to grow loose and potentially shift as the disease erodes their supportive structures.
Planning your periodontal treatment will depend on the exact severity of your gum disease. When gingivitis is caught and treated early, a scaling and root planing procedure can often reverse it. If not, then the periodontal cleaning will be followed by more-frequent dental exams and cleanings to help keep the disease under control.
During scaling and root planing, Dr. Okoniewski will carefully remove plaque and tartar from your teeth’s roots, allowing the gum tissues to heal and reattach to your teeth. If the pockets do not close after your periodontal cleaning, then you may be referred to a periodontal expert (or periodontist) for specialized treatment planning.
Gum Disease Maintenance
The trouble with gum disease is that once it develops, it cannot be eliminated or cured. Instead, patients who exhibit gum disease will have to actively keep the disease under control by visiting the dentist more frequently. In severe cases, irreversibly damaged gums may need to be restored with a gum graft, and weakened jawbones may require a bone graft. If you’ve lost teeth to gum disease, then your treatment should also include a prosthetic dentistry plan to replace them and restore your smile’s apeparance and function.
Keep Your Smile Safe with Periodontal Care
To prevent gum disease, or to control it so that it doesn’t cause severe dental damage, speak with your dentist about the need for regular periodontal care. To schedule a visit with Dr. Okoniewski, call Advanced Dental Concepts in Auburn Hills, MI today at (248) 852-1820.