Periodontal or gum disease can range from a simple inflammation to a serious gum disease. It may result to teeth loss in a worst case scenario. Gum diseases can be prevented by proper oral hygiene. The bacteria, mucus and other particles in our mouth create a sticky colorless substance referred to as "plaque" on the teeth. Flossing and brushing can get rid of this. When plaque is not removed it hardens to form 'tartar'. Daily brushing cannot clean this' tartar ". In such a situation, you require professional dental help. There are various options for the treatment of gum (periodontal) disease available depending on the gravity of the problem.
Non surgical treatments include:
Professional dental cleaning
Once you go for a dental checkup, the dentist will assess the gravity of the plaque. In most cases, professional cleaning is recommended. The build up on the teeth is best removed through professional cleaning. If you have signs of gum disease, you may need to get cleaned at least twice a year. The dentist will recommend the frequency of the cleaning based on his assessment of your teeth and gums.
Root planing and scaling
Scaling is deep cleaning. The procedure is done under local anesthetic. Plaque and tartar are removed from the gum line. The scraping away of plaque is referred to as scaling. The rough spots of the root are smoothened out, and this procedure is called 'planing'. Smoothing is essential because bacteria spots are removed and the teeth now have a clean surface to reattach themselves to. Root planing and scaling is recommended if the doctor ascertains that you have plaque or calculus (hardened tartar or plaque) that needs to be scraped away. A proper examination will reveal whether you need deep cleaning or if a regular clean will suffice.
Signs of gum disease
Periodontal disease symptoms are often unnoticeable until the advanced stages. Some of the telltale signs of gum disease include: bad breath that does not easily go away, loose teeth, swollen or red gums, sensitive teeth or tender or bleeding gums. If you have any of these symptoms, you should consult with your dentist for a medical check-up and treatment of gum (periodontal) disease. Consultation should be done immediately to prevent the advancement of the disease, which may result in teeth loss.
There are certain risk factors that may aggravate gum disease. The most common ones include:
Smoking: smoking is a major risk factor associated with the development of gum disease. Additionally, it can also lower the success rate of certain treatments.
Hormonal imbalance: hormonal changes in women and girls can make the gums more sensitive to gum diseases such as gingivitis.
Stress: when you're stressed, the body is not able to fight infection as it normally could and this might leave you susceptible to diseases like periodontal disease.
Diabetes: individuals with diabetes are at a higher risk of developing infections such as gum disease.
Medication: certain drugs such as heart medication and anti-depressants may have a negative impact on oral health. They reduce the flow of saliva. Saliva is essential for protecting the gums and teeth from infections.