What is Gum Disease?
Oral health is not only about taking care of the teeth, it’s also about taking care of the
gums. Without proper gum health, the equation of good oral health simply doesn’t work.
Rampant gum disease can have a far-reaching and detrimental effect beyond oral
health, even going so far as to eventually affect the health in other parts of the body.
Unchecked bacterial growth in the mouth may lead to the teeth loss and destruction of
the gums. Gum disease begins with the accumulation of plaque at the gum line. The accumulation
of this plaque leads to raw and inflamed gums. If you notice bleeding while brushing or
flossing, you may indeed be suffering from the early stages of gum disease and should
make moves to catch it early. Gums may be irritated at this stage, but are still strong
and have no accumulated damage. It is important to catch gum disease early. If allowed to progress without treatment, it
can cause irreversible levels of damage that can negatively impact the patient’s mouth
for life. After gingivitis, the next level of gum disease is labeled Periodontitis. In the
periodontal stage of gum disease, gums begin to pull away from the teeth, forming small
pockets where food can build up start to decay. This leads to a sort of snowball effect
as the decay is allowed to move deeper and deeper, thus breaking down the tissue and
bone holding the teeth. Once the teeth have become loosened from the jaw, the teeth
may even fall out completely. Among adults, periodontitis is the primary reason for tooth loss.
What are the treatments for Gum Disease?
Keeping plaque under control is the name of the game when it comes to preventative
measures against gum disease. Proper brushing, flossing, and rinsing every single day
serves to prevent gum disease. Flossing targets the hard-to-reach places in between
the teeth and gets rid of harmful bacteria and buildup therein. Brushing loosens plaque
from teeth’s surfaces. Rinsing eliminates the residual bacteria. Having the teeth
professionally cleaned every 6 months is key in removing tough plaque buildup that can
lead to gum disease. Depending on the stage of the gum disease, treatment options vary between surgical
and nonsurgical procedures,. Scaling and root planning is a deep-cleaning procedure in
which the doctor scrapes away plaque both above and below the gum line, as well as
smoothing down the rough spots on the tooth root. Having this done during the early
stages and resuming normal and proper daily dental care should serve to prevent the
gum disease from advancing further into the periodontitis stage. If the disease has passed from the early stage of gingivitis and into the more serious
stage of periodontitis, surgical treatment may become necessary. The surgery for advanced gum disease may include partial bone and/or tissue replacement as well as contouring. Proper flossing, brushing, and rinsing can go a long way in preventing gum
and we always recommend that our patients practice diligence in these good
hygiene habits. If you need treatment for gum disease, please call Dr. Malayev as soon as possible to
restore the health of your teeth and gums.