Periodontal or gum disease is a serious infection of the gums and tissues surrounding the teeth. When left untreated, this condition can lead to tooth and bone loss. Recent research has linked periodontal disease to other serious conditions, such as heart disease.
Dr. Jeffrey Singer offers LASER treatments for periodontitis to achieve improved periodontal health. [See section on LASER] Laser procedures offer alternative treatments that are less traumatic than conventional flap surgery with scalpel incisions and sutures and conserve healthy tissue. Light energy from the laser is directed through a tiny fiber that removes diseased tissue and aids in reducing bacteria associated with the disease. When the area is thoroughly cleaned, the body can heal normally.
Dr. Singer takes this condition very seriously. In fact, our practice is one of the few in the area to offer a wide variety of periodontics therapies. In addition to deep scaling, root planning, and the latest ultrasonic instruments, Dr. Singer can also use therapeutic medicines, such as Periostat®, Arestin®, Periodex®, OsteoGen®, Capset®, Atridox®, and Periogard®. For periodontal defects, we offer Emdogain®, the only material known to promote periodontal ligament and adjoining bone re-growth. This reliable solution promotes the re-growth of hard and soft tissues lost due to periodontal disease.
Periodontal disease is the major cause of tooth loss in adults – affecting three out of four people over the age of thirty-five (35). More than half of adults over 18 already have periodontal disease in the early stages.
Causes of periodontal disease are:
Plaque continually forms on teeth. As plaque hardens into calculus, it extends from gumline to tooth root. The gums will detach from the tooth and form pockets. Bacterial activity continues in these areas. As this disease worsens, bone supporting the tooth is destroyed – finally tooth loss.
At least 30 different types of bacteria can produce periodontal disease. Bacteria create toxins (poisons) that irritate gums and loosen the attachment of gum tissues to the teeth. Smoking, chewing tobacco, clenching of teeth also may contribute to periodontal disease. Additionally poor diet, some medications, and high levels of stress contribute to periodontal disease.
Symptoms of periodontal disease are:
- Swelling and Redness of the gums
- Bleeding gums when you brush your teeth.
- Loose teeth.
- Change in the way your teeth meet together when you are biting and chewing. Bad Breath.
- Beneath the gum tissue, bone destruction that you cannot see
Treatments for periodontal disease
- Non-surgical: Scaling and root planning; Antibiotics; Bite correction
- Surgical: Advanced periodontal disease requires gum surgery.
Preventing periodontal disease
- Use an excellent electric tooth brush twice a day with special toothpaste.
- Use stimudents
- Use dental floss
- Eat nutritious foods
- See your dentist regularly
If it’s been a while since you’ve been to the dentist and you think you may have periodontal disease, call our practice to schedule a consultation with Dr. Singer. Ask us about Perio Dentures.
The term “periodontics” refers to the dental specialty that pertains to the prevention, diagnosis and treatment of periodontal disease that affects the gums and jawbone. The gum tissues serve to surround and support the teeth and the underlying jawbone anchors teeth firmly in place. Periodontists have completed several years of extra dental training and are concerned with maintaining the function, health and aesthetics of the jawbone and tissues.
Reasons for periodontal treatment
Periodontal disease is a progressive condition which begins with mild gum inflammation called gingivitis. It is the leading cause of tooth loss in adults living in the developed world, and should be taken very seriously. Periodontal disease (often called gum disease) is typically signified by red, swollen, painful, or bleeding gums, but in some cases has no noticeable symptoms.
Periodontal disease generally begins when the bacteria living in plaque cause an infection in the surrounding tissues of the teeth, causing them to become irritated and painful. Eventually, this infection will; cause the jawbone to recede and the tooth to become loose.
There are several reasons why periodontal treatment may be necessary:
Moderate/advanced gum disease – This occurs when the gums are bleeding, swollen or red around most teeth and the jawbone has begun to recede.
Localized gum recession – The infection which propagates moderate or advanced gum disease often begins in one area. Gum recession may also be caused due to over brushing with a hard bristle brush, or due to a tooth that is not positioned properly. Immediate treatment is required to prevent further spreading.
Before crown lengthening – The periodontist may lengthen the crown of the tooth by removing surrounding soft tissue to provide more tooth exposure.
Ridge augmentation – This procedure, often called “recontouring” may be required to correct an uneven gum line. Before embarking on treatment, a periodontist needs to treat any bacterial infections and periodontitis.
In the case of mild/moderate periodontal problems, the focus of the periodontist will be on curing the underlying bacterial infection and then providing advice on the most appropriate home cleaning methods.
Sometimes a deep scaling is needed to remove the bacterial plaque and calculus (tartar) from the teeth and tissues. Where periodontal disease is advanced and the jawbone has regressed significantly, more intensive cleaning may be recommended and loose teeth that cannot be saved will be removed.
The periodontist is trained in all aspects of dental implant procedures, which can restore functionality to the mouth when teeth have been affected by periodontitis.
Because periodontal disease is progressive, it is essential to remove the bacteria and calculus build up to halt the spread of the infection. Your dentist will be happy to advise you on effective cleaning methods and treatment options.