Periodontics (Gum Treatment)

Periodontics (Gum Treatment)

Half of all Americans suffer from periodontal (gum) disease.

Early diagnosis is crucial, because gum disease doesn’t just affect oral health – it can impact general wellbeing and increase the risk of many other different diseases/conditions.

Periodontal disease and other chronic health issues have been linked.

Everyday, new links between periodontal disease and various other systemic conditions. Gum disease prompts an inflammatory response, and many chronic conditions have shown to be correlated with ongoing periodontitis.

Periodontal disease can increase risk of serious illness, or worsen an existing condition.

Periodotnal disease has been linked to:

  • Heart Disease
  • Gastrointestinal Disorders
  • Head and Neck Cancer
  • Diabetes
  • Respiratory problems
  • Memory Loss
  • Pancreatic Cancer
  • Stroke
  • Kidney Disease
  • Premature Birth
  • Low Birth Weight Babies

Reduce health risks with early diagnosis and treatment of periodontal disease.

Long term periodontitis has the potential to increase the risk of life threatening disease or illness.
Seeking diagnosis if gum disease is suspected, and following through with a periodontal
treatment and maintenance program can significantly reduce these risks.

Bleeding Gums

Gums that bleed easily and frequently (such as when eating or when being brushed and flossed)
could be an indication of several different situations, including:
    • Medication use (certain medications can cause gums to bleed)
    • Pregnancy (for some, bleeding gums appear in the early stages of pregnancy). Some
      women tend to catch gum disease easier during their pregnancy.
    • Gum disease (an early sign of gingivitis is bleeding gums)

The most common cause of bleeding gums remains gum disease, which – if caught early – is
treatable and reversible. Patients who notice that their gums are bleeding frequently or with little
provocation should see their periodontist for a gum disease check, as there may be an infection.
Catching gum disease in its early stages can prevent gum recession, tooth loss, and bone
loss.

Gum Recession

  • Common causes of gum recession include:
  • Periodontal Disease
  • Genetics
  • Tooth Brushing Methods
  • Oral Hygiene Routines
  • Hormonal Changes
  • Bruxism or Misaligned Teeth
  • Lifestyle Habit

Lifestyle Habits Periodontal Disease

Periodontal disease will cause gradual (slow or fast) loss of bone and gums surrounding the teeth, if left untreated. Once pockets are formed, they will not go away without specific treatment. The selected treatment depends on the severity of the recession and the state of the gums and teeth.

Genetics

Certain people are genetically pre-disposed to gum disease. If family members have gum disease and recession, it is likely that children and siblings will also be prone to receding gums.

Tooth Brushing Methods

Incorrect brushing habits, including aggressive brushing to using a hard toothbrush can cause irritation to the gums, and eventually recession.

Oral Hygiene Routines

Failing to brush, floss, and see a dentist regularly leads to bacteria and plaque build-up, which can lead to gum disease.

Hormonal Changes

Fluctuating hormone levels such as those caused by pregnancy, certain forms of birth control, menopause, or hormone replacement therapy can cause gum issues.

Bruxism

Tooth clenching and grinding can cause stress to soft gum tissues and lead to receding gums.

Malaligned Teeth & Orthontics (Braces)

Malaligned teeth (teeth that are nor properly aligned) can also put strain on soft tissues and cause problems. Sometimes movement of teeth with braces or aligners can put the teeth in positions where their bony cage is too thin and later gum recession.

Lifestyle Choices

  • Tobacco use
  • Tongue or lip piercings
  • Nail biting
  • Tooth picks

Preventing Gum Recession

Gum recession can often be prevented. Steps to minimize risk include:

  • Regular brushing and flossing as well as regular cleanings and exams
  • Adherence to a healthy diet
  • Avoidance of tobacco products
  • Use of a soft manual brush or an electric toothbrush
  • Seeking treatment for misaligned bite or bruxism

If gum recession has occurred, there are many specialized treatments available to restore gum
health and shape of the gumline.

Genetics

Certain people are genetically pre-disposed to gum disease. If family members have gum disease and recession, it is likely that children and siblings will also be prone to receding gums.

Stages of Gum Disease

There are four stages of gum disease, each with their own form of treatment.

  • Gingivitis
  • Mild Periodontitis
  • Moderate Periodontitis
  • Advanced periodontitis

Gingivitis

As bacteria build up in between the gum and the tooth, the gums become irritated, and may bleed, swell, or appear red and puffy; bad breath may also be present. This is called gingivitis.

Mild and Moderate Periodontitis

If gingivitis is untreated, the continued accumulation of plaque (bacteria) causes inflammation,and the gum pulls away from the tooth, bone is lost, and a pocket forms. There is now more space for more bacteria to accumulate and the vicious cycle moves to mild and moderate periodontitis, with further bone loss and deepening of the pocket.

Advanced Periodontitis

As periodontitis advances, the pockets become larger. The gums remain swollen and lose their tone, becoming floppy. With advanced bone loss, the tooth begins to loosen, until it is lost.

Gum disease treatment

Early diagnosis and treatment is key and may help to reverse the condition. A range of treatment includes non-surgical treatment (deep cleaning and antibiotics), surgical treatment and laser treatment options are available. One laser treatment option is LANAP ® ; laser-assisted new attachment procedure.

Left untreated, gum disease is likely to cause eventual tooth loss as well as other health risks. Early detection is the key to avoiding or managing gum disease and lowering risk of related issues. Contact us for a consultation appointment. Dr Ahmed and the team will perform an examination and offer a range of periodontal treatment options to you.