As people age, the likelihood of losing teeth to gum disease rather than tooth decay increases. Even people who consider themselves to have good oral hygiene habits are not immune to gum disease. General dental care and good oral hygiene certainly help considerably; however, it is important to be aware of plaque buildup on your teeth and periodontal pockets which can lead to gum disease.
When the gums surrounding the teeth are not in good order, gum disease can set in.
Gingivitis is the early stage of gum disease. Gums are puffy and bright pink or red. Bleeding may occur from time to time. With early treatment, the problem is reversible. If the situation is neglected, the gums become infected and periodontal disease advances. In the worst-case scenario, gums and bone recede to the point where teeth become loose and unstable. At this stage, they may begin to fall out. Surgery and extractions may be the only solution in order to get the periodontitis under control.
Periodontitis begins when plaque buildup hardens into calculus or tartar and pushes the gums away from the teeth. Pockets form between the gums and teeth; in these spaces, food debris and additional bacteria accumulate producing infection. Depending on the extent of the infection, you may need to take antibiotics. Your teeth will be cleaned to remove all the plaque and tartar to promote healing of your gums. Dr. Truong will examine your teeth and gums and discuss the best treatment plan for you.
Special instruments are used to remove the tartar from the teeth. This process is called scaling. Once all the tartar and plaque are removed, the teeth are smoothed down or planed to allow a smooth surface for the gums to reattach. The severity of your gum disease will dictate what measures will be taken to heal the areas affected by the disease. It is important for you to follow the directions given to you for home care. It is equally important that you attend follow up appointments to ensure that the healing process is going as planned.
Contact The Grove Family Dentistry today to schedule a consultation regarding the potential of periodontal disease.