Periodontal disease is also known as gum disease. It is a bacterial infection leading to inflammation of the tissues that support your teeth. When your gums are healthy, your gum tissues tightly hug each of your teeth. However, when you have gum disease, your gums pull away from your teeth. When your gums are red, puffy, and swollen, they start to pull away from your teeth creating spaces called periodontal pockets. Bacteria can collect in these pockets making your gum disease worse. As the periodontal disease gets worse, the soft tissues and bones that support your teeth are damaged. Over time, your teeth may become loose and may even fall out or need to be removed. That’s why treating periodontal disease in the early stages is very important in maintaining a healthy smile and preventing tooth loss. Contact SS Dental to schedule an exam with Dr. Z and her team of dental professionals.
There are four stages of gum disease:
When you come to SS Dental for your exam and cleaning, our hygienists will check you for periodontal disease. The hygienist uses an instrument called a periodontal probe to measure how deep the pockets are around each tooth. Healthy teeth have pockets that are 3mm or less deep. As periodontal disease progresses, these pockets become deeper. This means bacteria have more room to grow and cause serious damage to your gums and bone, loosening your teeth. Very deep pockets are a sign of advanced periodontal disease. At SS Dental, we also use low-dose digital x-rays to check your teeth and supporting bone. Bone loss is another sign of damage from periodontal disease.
If your periodontal disease has progressed far enough, Dr. Z may recommend scaling and root planing, also known as deep cleaning. Deep cleaning is different from regular teeth cleaning. During a scaling and root planing procedure, the hygienist will clean the bacteria from within the pockets around your teeth. She may even place Arestin to help prevent the growth of bacteria and heal your gums.
More Facts about Periodontal Disease:
Warning Signs of Periodontal Disease:
You may notice one or more of these warning signs, or you may not have any signs of gum disease at all. That’s why it’s important to see Dr. Z and the oral health care specialists at SS Dental regularly because treatment of gum disease is most successful when it’s caught early. Please don’t hesitate to contact us at SS Dental and schedule your appointment to see Dr. Z today.