Periodontal Disease

  Periodontal disease affects 3 out of 4 people over the age of 35 and is the major  cause of tooth loss in adults.  An inflammatory disease, it can cause irritation to gums, bone, and other supporting structures around the teeth.  Most people with periodontal disease are unaware they have t until their gums become painful or their teeth loosen. 

 

Causes

Irregular Brushing and Flossing - not removing plaque from teeth and gums daily

Diets - nutritional deficiencies or excessive alcohol consumption

Habits - smoking, chewing tobacco, clenching or grinding teeth, or even improper use of toothpicks.

Oral/Medical Condition - unaligned teeth, poorly fitted bridges, broken fillings, oral contraceptives, diabetes, pregnancy, steroids, and certain medications.

 

Signs

Gums - become red, swollen, or tender.  Receding or shrunken away from teeth.  Bleeding when you brush.

Teeth - seem loose or change position.

Odor - chronic bad taste in mouth or bad breath.

 

Diagnosis & Treatment

Probing - helps to measure the depth of space between tooth and gum, called a pocket.

Scaling - cleans the tooth at and below the gum line.

Root Planing - smoothes the tooth's surface below the gum line so that gum tissue can reattach to the tooth more firmly and reduce pocket depth.

Curettage/Surgery - in later stage of the disease it may be necessary to remove the soft tissue (curettage) lining the pocket or perform surgery on the gums or supporting structures of the tooth.