The two most common periodontal diseases are:Gum Disease Graphic

  • Gingivitis - inflammation of the gum at the necks of the teeth
  • Periodontitis - inflammation affecting the bone and soft gum tissues.

Periodontitis is unfortunately common but usually preventable with good oral hygiene and regular dental visits. The cause is calculus (tartar) buildup below the gumline and an overactive immune response to it (genetic). Symptoms include swollen, red, bleeding, and sometimes tender gums which can lead to bone loss. Swollen gums and bone loss create “pockets” around the teeth which can harbor more plaque and tartar resulting in further bone loss and eventual tooth loss.

Treatment includes professionally cleaning the pockets around teeth to prevent damage to surrounding bone:

  • Scaling - Scaling removes tartar and bacteria from your tooth surfaces and beneath your gums. It may be performed using hand instruments, a laser or an ultrasonic device.
  • Root planing - Root planing smooths the root surfaces, discouraging further buildup of tartar and bacteria, and removes bacterial byproducts that contribute to inflammation and delay healing or reattachment of the gum to the tooth surfaces.

Advanced cases of periodontal disease may result in extractions and or other surgical interventions.

Schedule an Appointment with Dr. Steve Douglas today!

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