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What Is Periodontal Disease?

Close-up of a healthy smilePeriodontal disease is an infection between the gums and teeth. It begins as gingivitis and, if not treated promptly, turns into full-blown periodontal disease, which eats away at your bone and gum tissue and eventually results in tooth loss.

The primary cause of gum disease is insufficient oral hygiene. When bacteria in your mouth is allowed to multiply in the absence of routine brushing and flossing, it will make a home in pockets at the base of the teeth. These are called “periodontal pockets” and their depth indicates the progression of gum disease. If your periodontal pockets become too deep for you to clean at home, a dental professional will need to remove the calculus and bacteria from under the gum-line around the base of your teeth. If left untreated the bacteria and calculus under the gums will release toxins that eat away at the bone.

Some of the symptoms/warning signs of gum disease include:

  • Bleeding, red, tender gums
  • Gum recession
  • Bad breath, even soon after brushing
  • Sensitive teeth
  • Shifting or loose teeth
  • Tooth loss

How Periodontal Disease Affects Overall Health

portrait of a happy coupleSeeking a treatment for periodontal disease is absolutely crucial -- not only for your oral health, but for your overall well-being as well. Your gums are the gateway to the rest of your body, and bacteria from an infection here can spread throughout your system. People who have gum disease are at-risk of a host of health issues, including:

  • Cardiovascular problems: Heart disease, high blood pressure, stroke
  • Respiratory issues: Chronic obstructive pulmonary disease (COPD), pneumonia
  • Uncontrolled blood glucose levels/diabetes
  • Pregnancy issues: Low birth weight, preterm labor
  • Memory loss
  • And many others

Treatment for Periodontal Disease

close-up smile with dental toolsDr. Canatella, Dr. Neumeyer, and our hygiene team work together to provide a range of periodontal solutions for patients dealing with gum disease. In the beginning stages, gingivitis can be reversed with improved dental hygiene at home (i.e. better brushing and flossing) and a few extra cleanings at our office.

Once gum disease has progressed to moderate levels, scaling and root planning (SRP) will be recommended for management. This is the gold standard of gum disease treatment -- special tools are used to clean above and below the gum line, removing bacteria and smoothing the tooth’s root to prevent reinfection. SRP may be completed over the course of several visits to our office and is often combined with antibiotic therapy for best results.

When gum disease has led to gum recession, we also offer the Chao Pinhole Technique (CPT) for replacing lost tissue without the need for traditional surgical methods. CPT is a wonderful way to regain what you have lost due to gum disease -- comfortably and efficiently.

Call Us Today

If you or a loved one are dealing with the symptoms of gum disease, remember that finding a prompt solution is crucial for avoiding the detrimental effects of this disease, like tooth loss and the host of health issues that come along with it. Our team provides effective treatments for all stages of gum disease. Don’t hesitate to call us to book an appointment today!