Periodontal or gum disease is a bacterial infection of the tissues and bone that support your teeth. As the tissues start to weaken, they start separating from your tooth. Measuring the depths of the “pockets” caused by gums separating from the tooth is essential to establish periodontal health. Healthy pockets are less than 3 millimeters. Enlarged pockets allow bacteria to grow beneath the gum line, where it is impossible to reach via brushing and flossing.
Certain bacteria, yeasts, or viruses that live around the teeth produce toxins that irritate the gums and cause inflammation. The gums become tender, swollen, and bleed easily. Bleeding gums when brushing may be an indicator of active periodontal disease. If plaque is not removed regularly, it hardens and becomes what is called calculus or tartar. The pores in tartar hold toxins and bacteria and can only be removed by a dental professional. If tartar is not removed below the gum line, the bacteria continue to destroy the ligament and bone. Bone loss then results in shifting and possibly loss of teeth.
Periodontal disease is usually treated with scaling and root planning and gum flap surgery. X-rays also show how much bone is supporting the teeth, and comparing them year to year is crucial. Dr. Mori also uses a Salivary diagnostic test to determine a treatment plan for patients at risk. The salivary diagnostic test informs Dr. Mori which bacteria is present and needs to be addressed. A personalized treatment plan can then be developed.
Researchers continue to study the link between periodontal disease and diabetes, stroke, cardiovascular disease, dementia, and many more. Treating periodontal disease should be taken seriously and done as early as possible.
Call us at Wayne H Mori Dental or schedule an online appointment to know more about Periodontal Therapy