Gingivitis is the inflammation of the gum tissue, which if left untreated, will ultimately lead to the need for periodontal care. Periodontal disease is an infection of the bones and gums that surround the teeth. Once healthy gums remain inflamed (gingivitis), they ultimately cause infection to set up and create the need for the patient to be treated immediately. There are different forms of periodontal therapy that are used to treat these infections, some of which require surgery.
Periodontal disease poses a drastic threat to dental health, and is mainly found in adults. In severe cases, the teeth and gums separate, ultimately resulting in the loss of bone. There are several warning signs of this disease including bleeding gums, sensitive teeth, painful chewing, and bad breath. If you notice any of these signs, you should schedule a visit with your dentist.
Corrective surgery may be needed in extreme cases of periodontal disease, but many patients can be treated with several deep cleanings below the gums. This form of treatment is called scaling. This process is normally performed in four different sessions, as the dentist works with one quadrant of the mouth at a time. After this process is complete, it is important to follow the dentist’s instructions for oral care at home.
Periodontal surgery is needed when there is severe loss of the bone that supports the teeth. In many cases, regenerative surgery may be performed which consists of folding back the area around the gums to remove the bacteria. Bone grafts or other material is then used to stimulate your body’s natural ability to regenerate tissue and bone.
Anyone that does not practice good oral hygiene is at risk of developing periodontal disease regardless as to their age or race. While some studies show that certain ethnic groups are more prone to developing this disease than others, the main cause of it is poor dental hygiene.
Regular checkups and communication with your dentist is just as important as checkups with a physician. Health and wellness includes all areas of the body, including your mouth. Gingivitis and signs of periodontal disease should not be ignored. If you have symptoms, or have noticed a change in your teeth and gums, getting to a dentist should be a priority. Poor oral health could lead to other dental problems with more serious side effects and could also lead to the loss of teeth.