disease is an infection that attacks the gums and bone surrounding
the teeth. Plaque, a sticky, colorless film of food and bacteria,
forms constantly on teeth. If not removed, plaque hardens to become
calculus (or tartar) in as little as 24 hours. Your body responds
to the bacteria in plaque and tartar by sending white blood cells
(the body's natural defense) to the infected area. When these white
blood cells reach your gums, they release enzymes to attack the infection.
Unfortunately, these protective enzymes also attack and break down
the bone and gum tissue surrounding your teeth.
gums form pockets
buildup vastly complicates the battle against periodontal disease.
If plaque or tartar is not removed, you become vulnerable to gingivitis,
the early stage of periodontal disease. When you suffer from gingivitis,
your gums swell, get red and tender, and bleed when you brush or floss.
The natural space between your teeth and gums becomes infected, and
deepens. Now, in this newly formed pocket, the bacteria that cause
periodontal disease can thrive. This sets off a downward spiral, since
a toothbrush and floss can't remove the plaque in the depths of pockets.
Untreated periodontal disease eventually leads to tooth loss, as the
infection, coupled with your body's reaction to it, ultimately destroys
the bone that holds your teeth in your mouth.
Scaling and root planing
of periodontal disease
people who suffer from periodontal disease aren't aware of it until
the condition becomes serious. This is because early periodontal
disease usually doesn't cause any pain. The good news is that our
staff can detect the signs of periodontal disease during your twice-yearly
hygiene appointment. However, you should schedule an appointment
immediately if you have any of the following symptoms:
gums are red, swollen, tender, or bleed easily.
Your gums are pulling away from your teeth.
suffer from persistent bad breath or a bad taste in your mouth.
appears when you press on your gums.
teeth are loose, or you notice a change in your bite.
is the easiest way to fight this disease. A periodontal disease
prevention plan involves following a dental hygiene discipline that
includes brushing twice daily, flossing at least once a day, and
visiting us twice a year for dental cleanings. We also recommend
that you avoid smoking, eat a balanced diet, and maintain a healthy
lifestyle overall, as periodontal disease has been linked to other
medical conditions, including heart disease, uncontrolled diabetes,
and respiratory infections.
a thorough evaluation, the treatment of periodontal disease begins
with scaling and root planing. Using special instruments, we carefully
and meticulously remove the plaque and tartar that extend below
the gum line. Then we smooth the root surfaces. This treatment allows
the infected gum tissue to heal and to form new, healthier attachments
to the root surfaces. We may also prescribe antibiotics or an antimicrobial
mouth rinse to fight the growth of bacteria that leads to periodontal
disease. In cases of advanced periodontal disease, and in cases
where pockets fail to heal after root planing, we may also recommend