What is Periodontal / Gum Disease?
Periodontal disease is an infection in your mouth that effects your gums and the bones that hold your teeth in place. It usually begins with your gums looking a bit red and bleeding when you brush and can end with the loss of your teeth.
What Causes Periodontal Disease?
Plaque is always forming in your mouth and contains a film of bacteria that attaches to your teeth and gums. This bacteria can cause irritation to the tissues that support your teeth if not frequently removed. Also, if not frequently removed with regular brushing, it begins to harden into tartar (also called calculus). Since calculus has a rough, uneven texture, it provides a surface that allows more plaque to form and makes it more difficult to remove when you brush. The only way to remove calculus, is to have your teeth professionally cleaned at the dental office. If it is not removed, the gum surrounding your teeth begin pulling away from your teeth, creating pockets for more bacteria, plaque, and calculus to accumulate. Eventually, the bacteria reaches the bone anchoring your teeth and the bone erodes leaving the teeth with no support.
Can Periodontal Disease Effect Your Health?
Many studies have shown links between Periodontal Disease and Heart Disease, Diabetes, and even Alzheimer's. The mouth is the gateway to your body, and getting your gums healthy again can lead to a longer, more comfortable life!
Are You at Risk?
There are many risk factors that can increase your risk of developing Periodontal Disease. Some are:
- Smoking or chewing tobacco
- Diseases such as diabetes, blood cell disorders, and HIV/AIDS which lower resistance to infection
- Medications (steroids, anti-seizure drugs, cancer therapy, blood pressure, and birth control pills) can decrease saliva which can induce irritation to your gums.
- Changes in hormone levels in females (teens, pregnancy, those taking birth control pills) can cause gum tisses to become more sensitive to toxins produced by bacteria.
- Genetics - some patients are more likely to get severe Periodontal Disease if there is a family history.
- Contagion - The bacteria that causes Periodontal Disease can be passed between people through saliva
How Do You Know if You Have Periodontal Disease?
These warning signs can signal a problem:
- Bleeding of gums with you brush or floss
- Gums that are red, swollen, or tender
- Gums that seem to have shrunk or pulled away from your teeth
- Bad breath that doesn't go away
- Teeth that feel loose
The best way to evaluate if you have Periodontal Disease is a visit with us. We will do a comprehensive examination and take some x-rays to check the bone levels around your teeth. The early we diagnose the disease, the less extensive, less costly, and more effective your treatment will be. With the proper treatment, we will have your smiling, eating comfortably, and feeling healthier again!
"Great facility and staff made for a pleasant dental experience. Everyone is very welcoming and takes the time to explain things to you and ensure your comfort. Definitely recommend Start Smiling Dental!"- L.W. / Google / Jul 24, 2017
"6 stars!"- L.B. / Google / Nov 20, 2020
"Wonderful staff! Always on time"- E.S. / Google / Nov 19, 2020
"Dr. Hahn and staff are all wonderful. Caring and sympathetic to inherent dislikes of going to the dentist, they work to make it as pleasant and comfortable as possible. I am glad I found them!"- R.M. / Google / Nov 17, 2020
"Start Smiling Dental was very flexible with my schedule. They made sure to followed up with me each time an opening was available for a teeth cleaning. The staff was very gentle and welcoming."- S.D. / Google / Nov 13, 2020
Stages of periodontal disease
Treatment of Periodontal Disease
The good news is that Periodontal Disease can be treated!
- The first step is to have a comprehensive exam, where we will look at the health of your gums, and the bone levels surrounding your teeth.
- If the disease is caught early (gingivitis), the plan may be a simple as a professional dental cleaning with some tips to keep the harder areas of your mouth clean.
- If the disease if more advanced, it may include treatment such as Scaling & Root Planning. This involves numbing the areas of concern, removing any calculus that has accumulated in the pockets surrounding the teeth, and then smoothing the surfaces so the gums can reattach to your teeth. We realize this can sound unpleasant and a bit scary. The good news is most patients report it felt no different than a regular cleaning. Some say it was even more comfortable since they had anesthetic and couldn't feel anything!
- If the disease is severe, it may be necessary for you to see a Periodontist (a dentist who specializes in Periodontal Disease.) They will help you determine if surgery or more extensive treatment is needed.
Call us today and let us help you get your mouth healthy so that you can smile, eat, and enjoy feeling healthier!
Cost of Periodontal Treatment
At Start Smiling Dental we personalize treatment to your individual needs. Therefore cost can vary quite a bit depending on your diagnoses. At your initial exam we will help you make a plan to get the care you need to keep your teeth for a lifetime of confident smiles!
Plan Your Procedure
Periodontal disease can lead to serious health problems, so if you have symptoms (i.e. bleeding, red, or inflamed gums) please contact our office today to schedule a consultation. We will use our experience and knowledge to diagnose and treat your oral health condition.
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