Periodontal disease (gum disease) is an infection of the gum and bone tissues of the mouth caused by poor dental hygiene maintenance. When plaque and tartar build up on the teeth and gums, it can develop and progress to periodontal disease.
If this progressive disease is left untreated, it can break down the gum and bone tissues and tooth loss.
There are numerous warning signs associated with a gum infection. The initial symptoms can be silent and difficult for patients to realize. Marielaina Perrone DDS can evaluate your gums to determine if you require periodontal disease treatment.
Treating periodontal disease quickly and aggressively is the key.
Gum disease can often be a silent disease, meaning symptoms do not always appear until it progresses to a more advanced form. Some early warning signs of gum disease include:
- Gum Recession
- Pain or discomfort in the mouth
- Bleeding upon brushing or flossing
- Tender, swollen, or reddened gums
- Tartar And Plaque Buildup
- Shifting Teeth
- Loose Teeth
- Chronic Bad breath
- Changes In Your Bite
There are four classifications of periodontal disease. These are as follows:
The early stages of periodontal disease are called gingivitis. This is the only stage where you can reverse your once healthy gums back to their healthy state. This is because the disease has not affected the bone surrounding your teeth yet.
The presence of bleeding gum tissue is an early warning sign. Maintaining good dental hygiene at home (brushing and flossing) along with regular dental visits can keep your smile free from gingivitis.
Early Periodontal Disease
This is the second stage of gum disease. It is not reversible, but your dentist can manage it. Once a patient reaches stage two, the infection has spread to the bone and begins the process of destroying the bone surrounding your teeth.
The bacteria evolves and becomes more aggressive, which is what causes the additional bone loss. Simple at-home dental hygiene (brushing and flossing) improvements will no longer be the only answer.
Signs of early-stage gum disease include:
- Swollen gums
- Redness of the gums
- Bad breath
- Bleeding during brushing or flossing
- Probing depths between four and five millimeters
Moderate Periodontal Disease
Moderate periodontal disease also cannot be reversed. In moderate periodontitis, the same symptoms as stage two occur but probing depths are now deeper at six to seven millimeters. Moderate periodontitis also now poses a systemic health threat.
The elevated bacteria levels can travel throughout the body through the bloodstream. Gum disease has been linked to conditions such as heart disease, diabetes, and Alzheimer’s disease. Treatment for moderate periodontitis consists of scaling and root planing along with possible antibiotic therapy.
Scaling and root planing is a deep cleaning that removes bacteria deposits deeply rooted in your gums. If left untreated, this stage will progress to bone and tooth loss, gum sensitivity, increased bleeding, and teeth shifting.
Advanced Periodontal Disease
The final stage of periodontal disease occurs when the periodontal infection deepens even further. You are now at a 50% – 90% risk of loss of bone.
Along with bone loss, advanced periodontitis causes red, inflamed gums that ooze pus, a feeling of cold sensitivity, further loosening of teeth, painful chewing, and severe bad breath. This stage requires periodontal surgery to clean the deep bacteria-filled periodontal pockets that have formed.
If left untreated, stage four periodontal disease leads to spacing or gaps between the teeth, gum recession, loss of teeth, and other overall health issues.
Periodontal disease is a progressive and slow-moving disease. If left untreated, it will wreak havoc on your smile.
Treatment for periodontal disease will begin with a thorough examination of your gums. Following assessment, Marielaina Perrone DDS can determine which treatment will work best for you.
This treatment plan development will depend on the severity and the progressive stage of the disease. Treating gum disease early is the key to helping minimize damage to your smile and decreasing any need for periodontal surgery in the future.
Some standard periodontal disease gum tissue treatment includes:
- Deep dental cleaning: Plaque and tartar is removed from above and below the gum line. The typical professional dental cleaning schedule is once every six months. However, it is recommended to return every 3-4 months to keep the periodontal disease progression at bay in those with gum disease.
- Scaling and Root Planing: Scaling and root planing is a nonsurgical deep cleaning procedure completed while the patient is under local anesthesia. This type of treatment may need multiple visits. Planing is used on rough spots on the tooth root to smooth them. This smoothing helps remove bacteria and provides a smooth surface for the gingival connective tissue to reattach to the teeth successfully.
- Flap Surgery or Pocket Reduction Surgery: You may need surgical intervention for more advanced stages of gum disease. During this periodontal surgery, the gums are lifted back so that your dentist can gain full access to clean and debride the teeth. The gums are then placed back using sutures for a snug fit. This surgery will reduce the space between the gum and the tooth itself.
- Dental Bone Grafts: Bone grafts are needed to restore lost bone structures due to periodontal disease. You can use your natural bone or synthetic bone to replace any bone that has been destroyed by periodontal disease. Bone grafts are essential if you wish to restore your smile with dental implants.
Periodontal Disease Systemic Health Effects
Unfortunately, the effects of periodontal disease go beyond just your oral health. Researchers are increasingly finding an associative link between gum disease and your systemic health.
Some of these health problems include:
Heart disease (cardiovascular disease)
Periodontal disease increases the risk of arterial occlusion (plaque buildup) and can worsen an existing occlusal condition.
Periodontal disease can also increase the risk of stroke caused by the occlusion of arteries.
Oral bacteria can spread into the bloodstream to the lungs. This can cause lung infections. Adults with a weakened immune system with periodontal disease are at increased risk of severe pneumonia.
Gum disease during pregnancy in patients with immune system issues can increase the likelihood of preterm birth and low birth weight of the baby.
Gum disease can make it more difficult for people with diabetes to control their blood sugar levels than healthy gums.
If left untreated, there is no doubt gum disease will continue to progress. Marielaina Perrone DDS works closely with her patients to ensure that they can maintain optimal oral health with healthy gums.
This healthy smile is achieved with a routine dental exam schedule, routine professional cleaning, and maintaining a proper oral hygiene regimen at home. Call Marielaina Perrone DDS today at 702-458-2929 for more information on periodontal disease treatment and schedule an oral health appointment to restore and enhance your smile.
Marielaina Perrone, DDS, is a highly experienced and dedicated dental professional passionate about delivering exceptional patient care. With over 20 years of experience in the dental industry, Dr. Perrone is widely regarded as a leading authority in her field, with a reputation for providing innovative solutions and personalized care to her patients.