Periodontal (gum) disease is a condition in which bacteria attack the tissues that surround and support the teeth. Simply put, it is an infection that can result in tooth loss if not treated. Because it is often painless, you may not be aware that you have a problem until your gums and bone are seriously affected. The good nes is that periodontal diseases often can be prevented or treated in the early stages with a treatment called scaling and root planing.
Scaling is used to remove plaque and tartar beneath the gumline. Plaque and tartar are carefully removed down to the bottom of each periodontal pocket. The tooth’s root surfaces are then smoothed or planed to allow the gum tissue to heal and reattach to the tooth.
Periodontal disease is a progressive disease and if left untreated, the condition will worsen. Preventing and treating the disease in the early stages are the best ways to keep your smile healthy. The first line of defense is prevention. Having a good oral hygiene routine at home and having regular dental checkups are important in preventing periodontal diseases.
Warning signs of periodontal disease:
- Gums that bleed easily
- Red, swollen or tender gums
- Gums that have pulled away from the teeth
- Pus between the teeth and gums when the gums are pressed
- Persistent bad breath or bad taste
- Permanent teeth that are loose or separating
- Any change in the way your teeth fit together when you bite
- Any changes in the fit of partial dentures.