William E. Mason, D.D.S., M.S., Periodontics - Dental Implants
Periodontal Diseases

What is Periodontal Disease?
What Other Factors Might Contribute to Peridontal Diseases?
What are the Signs of Peridontal Diseases?
What is the Treatment for Periodontal Diseases?
How Can Periodontal Diseases Be Prevented?

Additional Resources


What is Periodontal Disease?

Peridontal disease, also known as gum disease, is a bacterial gum infection that destroys the attachment fibers and supporting bone that hold your teeth in your mouth. The main cause of the disease is bacterial plaque, a sticky, colorless film that constantly forms on your teeth. Daily brushing and flossing is a must to prevent plaque build-up.


Here are the most common forms of periodontal diseases:

  • Gingivitis - The mildest form of the diseases, causes the gums to become red, swell and bleed easily. Usually little or no discomfort. Reversible with professional treatment and good home oral care.
  • Mild Periodontitis - Gingivitis, left untreated, can advance to periodontitis. In the mild stage, bone and tissue begins to be destroyed.
  • Moderate to Advanced Periodontitis - More bone and tissue destruction. Advanced form includes extensive bone and tissue loss. Teeth often become loose and may have to be removed.

[Back to Top]

What Other Factors Might Contribute to Peridontal Diseases?
  • Smoking/Tobacco Use - Tobacco users are more likely to get periodontal diseases and suffer from the most severe forms.
  • Pregnancy and Puberty - Some hormonal changes can cause gums to become red and tender and bleed easily.
  • Stress - Stress can make it more difficult to fight off infection.
  • Medications - Some drugs, such as oral contraceptives, antidepressants and certain heart medicines, can affect oral health.
  • Grinding Your Teeth - Puts excess force on the supporting tissues and could speed up the rate of tissue destruction.
  • Diabetes - Peridontal diseases can be more severe in uncontrolled diabetics.
  • Poor Nutrition - A diet low in important nutrients can make it harder to fight off infection.
  • Systemic Diseases - Diseases that interfere with the immune system may worsen the condition of the gums.

[Back to Top]

What are the Signs of Peridontal Diseases?
The following are the most common symptoms of peridontal diseases:
  • Bleeding gums during brushing
  • Red, swollen or tender gums
  • Gums that have pulled away from the teeth
  • Persistent bad breath
  • Pus between the teeth and gums
  • Loose or separating teeth
  • A change in the way your teeth fit together when you bite
  • A change in the fit of partial dentures

[Back to Top]

What is the Treatment for Periodontal Diseases?
Treatment depends on how far the diseases have progressed. If caught in the early stages, simple procedures are done that will remove the plaque and calculus from below the gumline and eliminate the infection-causing bacteria. This procedure is called deep cleaning/root cleaning. If these diseases are moderate to advanced further treatment will be necessary.

Once the diseases have been arrested, patients are seen regularly for supportive periodontal treatment. Periodontal diseases are chronic diseases, just like diabetes. Without ongoing treatment diseases can recur.

[Back to Top]

How Can Periodontal Diseases Be Prevented?
To keep your teeth for a lifetime, you must remove plaque from your teeth and gums every day by brushing and flossing. Regular dental visits, at least twice a year, are also important. Daily cleaning will keep calculus formation to a minimum, but it won't completely prevent it.

[Back to Top]

Resources

Good News for Non-Smokers 5.7KB Oct 08, 2007 7:51 PM
Canker Sore Prevention.pdf 64.0KB Nov 01, 2007 7:58 PM