There are two primary forms of the disease: gingivitis and periodontitis. Gingivitis is an infection of the tissue that lines the gums, while periodontitis is a progressive disease that eventually destroys gum and bone tissue. Both forms are caused by bacterial plaque, a sticky film of food debris, saliva, and bacteria that forms on the teeth. When plaque is not removed, it turns into calculus, which is harder to remove from the teeth and can infect gum tissues. At Lutke Dental, gum disease is usually painless and isn’t often detected until the advanced stages. If left untreated, gum disease can lead to tooth loss and other serious health problems such as heart disease, diabetes, pneumonia, Alzheimer’s, and more.
Various factors, including poor dental hygiene and genetics, cause gum disease. When plaque builds up on the teeth, it can cause tooth decay and gum disease. Bacteria in the mouth form toxins that can damage the teeth and bone. Eventually, the gums pull away from the teeth, forming pockets where bacteria can hide. The immune system responds by attacking the bacteria, causing inflammation in the gum tissues. As the disease progresses, the bone supporting the teeth is destroyed, allowing the teeth to become loose and fall out. This is why it’s necessary to treat gum disease as soon as possible to prevent tooth loss and other complications. In addition to regular brushing and flossing, practicing good oral hygiene is essential to protect your teeth and gums from infection. This includes visiting the dentist at least twice yearly for a professional cleaning and checkup.
This deep cleaning procedure involves removing plaque, tartar, and bacteria below the gum line (scaling) and smoothing the tooth roots (root planing) to promote gum healing and prevent further bacterial growth.
After active treatment, regular periodontal maintenance cleanings are necessary to prevent the reoccurrence of gum disease. These cleanings are typically performed every three to four months and involve monitoring the gum health, removing plaque and tartar, and evaluating the effectiveness of oral hygiene practices.
In advanced cases of periodontitis, surgical procedures such as gum flap surgery, bone grafts, or guided tissue regeneration may be necessary to repair damaged gum and bone tissues.
Prevention is critical in managing periodontal disease. Maintaining good oral hygiene habits, including regular brushing, flossing, and using antimicrobial mouth rinses, along with regular dental check-ups, can help prevent the development and progression of gum disease.
If you suspect you have gum disease or experience symptoms such as gum inflammation, bleeding, or persistent bad breath, it is essential to seek professional dental care. For the best dental care, visit Lutke Dental at 5045 Lorimar Dr #110, Plano, TX 75093, or call (972) 378-4141.