Among the causes for periodontal (gum) disease are genetic susceptibility, smoking, and other illnesses like diabetes. Periodontal maintenance involves removing plaque and tartar from above and below the gum line. Most gum diseases are preventable with proper oral hygiene. However, what can start out as gingivitis (inflamed or bleeding gums) can quickly turn into periodontitis. In such cases, gums pull away from the tooth to create “pockets,” thereby exposing a dental root to infection. It can also lead to prolonged bad breath, loose teeth, painful chewing and other complications.
Diagnosing Gum Disease
The diagnosis of gum disease or periodontitis is made by radiographic and physical measurement of the gum and bone support around each tooth. It may be localized to one or a few teeth or it may encompass the entire dentition. It may be a slow, chronic asymptomatic process. Diagnosis also attempts to identify the causative factors thus enhancing treatment modalities . At our office we stress co-diagnosis where we involve the patient in the discovery and treatment.
Treatment initially involves deep thorough cleaning above and below the gum line; called scaling and root planing. It is accomplished very comfortably under local anesthesia with little or no post treatment sequela.
A re-assessment is then accomplished. Further treatment, if needed is then discussed with patient . It may consist of maintenance therapy or surgical intervention.