To have healthy teeth, you need healthy gums. Periodontal disease can wreak havoc on not only your teeth but your overall health. More people experience tooth loss from periodontal disease than from cavities. Without regular examinations, you may not even realize you have this disease until it is too late. Good oral hygiene, a balanced diet, and regular dental visits to our office here at Jason Widner DMD Family Dentistry can help reduce your risk of developing periodontal disease.
What Are the Causes of Periodontal Disease?
The occurrence of bacteria overgrowth causes periodontal disease. The saliva in a healthy mouth alone can contain millions of bacteria but once the mouth becomes infected, that number increases. As the bacterium continues to spread, the mouth develops a thin invisible lining over the teeth known as plaque. If the development of plaque is not taken care of as soon as it develops, it can progress and damage the gums even more. The bacteria continue to spread throughout the mouth and can eventually lead to a more serious periodontal disease known as periodontitis.
Our professionals diagnose periodontal disease during a periodontal examination. This type of exam should always be part of your regular dental check-up.
A periodontal probe is gently used to measure the sulcus (pockets or space) between the tooth and the gums. The periodontal probe helps indicate if pockets are deeper than three millimeters. As periodontal disease progresses, the pockets usually get deeper. Our professionals will use pocket depths, amount of bleeding, inflammation, and tooth mobility to make a diagnosis.
Who Needs Periodontal Care?
A dentist can manage some patients’ periodontal needs. However, as the disease progresses, the need for trained experts may be warranted. Patients who present with moderate or severe periodontal disease, or patients with more complex cases, will have the opportunity to consult with our professionals to determine the best course of action.
Periodontal disease gum treatments can get rid of an oral infection. However, certain risk factors can reduce the effectiveness of treatments. For example, smokers are more likely to develop gum disease than those who do not smoke.
Periodontal disease progresses as the pockets or space between the tooth and gums gets filled with bacteria, plaque, and tartar, irritating the surrounding tissues. When these irritants remain in the pocket space, they can damage the gums and, eventually, the bone that supports the teeth.
If the disease is caught in the early stages, known as gingivitis, cleanings with our team can typically resolve the issue. Our professionals will examine the gums, check to see if there is any gum line recession, assess how the teeth fit together when biting, and check the teeth to see if they are loose. Our professionals will also take a small measuring instrument called a probe and place it between the teeth and gums to determine the depths of those spaces, known as periodontal pockets. This helps the periodontist assess the gums’ health.
Read more about periodontal maintenance.
The sooner the periodontal disease is detected, the better our professionals can get you the treatment you need to stay in good health with non-surgical therapies. For more information call Jason Widner DMD Family Dentistry at 425-868-0123 today.