Periodontal (gum) disease is a dental condition that causes inflammation of the gum tissue. The word periodontal means “around the tooth.”
Gums can become diseased when the bacteria present in plaque (the sticky, colorless film that constantly forms on your teeth) cause the gum tissue to become inflamed, leading to infection. There are contributory factors that increase the risk of developing gum disease like tobacco smoking or chewing tobacco, diabetes, steroid medications, anti-epilepsy drugs, cancer therapy drugs, oral contraceptives, pregnancy, defective crowns and bridges, defective fillings and crooked teeth.
There are various stages and forms of gum disease. The two main forms are Gingivitis and Periodontitis. In the Gingivitis stage, bacteria build up on the lining of the teeth and gums. You may have red, swollen gums. In many cases, the gums will bleed when brushing. Gingivitis is reversible with professional treatment and good oral home care. In the Periodontitis stage, the inner layer of the gum and the bone begin to pull away from the tooth eventually forming pockets. Then, bacteria and debris from your mouth can deposit into this location leading to infections and destruction of the gums themselves. Eventually, teeth can become loose and may have to be removed. Often, this destructive process has very mild symptoms hence it is very important to get regular dental checkups and gum examination by your dentist. Early treatment of gum disease is very important. The goals of treatment are to prevent gum disease from permanently damaging tissues, control infection, and prevent tooth loss. For the treatment to be effective, patients need to keep their teeth clean by brushing and flossing twice a day, eat a well balanced diet and see the dentist regularly for examinations and preventive care.
At 510 Dentist you have access to specialized gum treatment by way of a periodontist (dentist specializing in treatment of gum disease) being part of our team of professionals.