Periodontal (Gum and Bone) Treatments
Periodontal disease is the number one cause of tooth loss in the United States today. About 80% of all adults have some degree of periodontal disease. Periodontal disease starts with an infection of your gum tissues called gingivitis. This infection is caused by an accumulation of plaque and biofilm around your teeth. Plaque is a soft material made up of bacteria (germs). The severity of the infection is determined by the strength of the bacteria (germs), and your body’s resistance to infections (immune response). Research has shown that people who have any form of diabetes (especially insulin dependent) or have a family history of diabetes, people who are tobacco smokers or tobacco chewers, heavy users of alcohol or drugs, steroid users, people with rheumatoid arthritis or people undergoing radiation or chemotherapy, have a lower immune resistance. These people are at a much greater risk to the bacteria (germs) in their mouth and therefore must be monitored very closely in order to achieve the best results in controlling periodontal disease.
Plaque can be removed daily with flossing and proper brushing. If the plaque stays around the teeth for 24 hours, it will harden on the tooth and form calculus (tarter). This calculus (tarter) adheres too firmly to the tooth for you to be able to remove it at home. The bacteria (germs) in the plaque, biofilm and calculus directly cause the gingivitis (gum) infection and will lead to a bone infection called periodontitis (pyorrhea) over time. This infection causes the bone, which supports the tooth, to melt away. Eventually, there is not enough bone left to hold the tooth in place and it becomes loose and is lost.
You can actively monitor the health of your gum and bone tissues by being aware of the warning signs of periodontal disease. The warning signs include red, swollen gum tissue, frequent bleeding when brushing or flossing, loose teeth, bad breath, changes in your bite, or receding gum tissue. This can all be easily prevented with meticulous home care including proper brushing and flossing. Early detection with a comprehensive dental exam performed by our dentist Thomas Strub, DDS is also critical to controlling periodontal disease. He will evaluate the health of your tissues by measuring the space between your gums and teeth with an instrument called a periodontal probe, to check for bleeding tissue or gums that are separating from the teeth, indicating bone loss. He will then recommend a treatment approach that is appropriate for your level of periodontal health.
Please contact Dr. Thomas J. Strub for more information, or to schedule an appointment. We will be happy to speak with you and answer any questions you may have.