Gum disease is the loss of gums and the bone surrounding your teeth due to improper brushing, lack of flossing, and/or lack of professional dental care.
Periodontal disease begins when the bacteria that forms on your teeth (called plaque), is not removed. This plaque will eventually turn into a hard substance called calculus, and will cause your gums to bleed and become swollen. If the calculus is not removed, the gums will move away from your teeth and allow more harmful bacteria below your gums that will eventually start to destroy the bone around your teeth.
To see if you have gum disease, we will take full mouth x-rays and perform a periodontal probing. A dental instrument is used to measure the depth of the gum tissue around your teeth. We measure six places on each tooth on the cheek and tongue side. Normal readings are between 1-3mm. Any readings over this indicate gum disease is present and must be treated.
Gum disease is treatable if caught in its early stages.
The treatment for gingivitis (bleeding but no bone loss) is usually several cleanings, possibly a prescription for antibacterial mouth rinse, and oral hygiene instructions.
Beginning to moderate gum disease is treated by deep cleaning (also called scaling and root planing), antibacterial mouth rinses, and oral hygiene instructions.
Advanced cases of gum disease (severe gum recession and bone loss) are best treated by a periodontist (a dental gum specialist).
Some factors that can contribute to gum disease are:
- Poor oral hygiene
Studies have shown that chronic gum disease is a contributing factor in heart disease, strokes, diabetes, and births of infants with low-birth-weight.
Gum disease is relatively painless and can cause major dental problems if not diagnosed early.
To make sure your gums are in good health, please call our office at (903) 753-0337
for an evaluation.