What is Periodontal Disease? Do everything you can to prevent periodontal disease - trust us. When you brush your teeth, do you find your gums are sore and tend to bleed? Maybe you see a little blood on your toothbrush or maybe it's significant enough to make you question it. You know it isn’t healthy but you aren’t sure what to do. Well, bleeding gums are generally caused from inadequate plaque removal both at your gum line and on your teeth. If you ignore it and leave it untreated, it will lead to gingivitis or inflamed gums. When plaque on your teeth isn’t properly removed (from regular at-home oral care together with your dental appointments at family dentist Dentalways) it will eventually harden into tarter. Sooner or later, this will lead to more bleeding and a more advanced form of gum and jawbone disease known as periodontitis. The foundation of successful periodontal treatments begins with creating an excellent oral hygiene routine. There is a lot you can do on your own to limit or prevent your chances of experiencing full out periodontal disease. The leading cause of tooth loss The term “periodontal”simply means “around the tooth.” Periodontal disease (commonly referred to as gum disease) is a common inflammatory condition affecting the surrounding soft tissues of the tooth. When it's in the advanced stages, it also affects the jawbone itself. Gingivitis - which is a bacterial infection of the gum tissue - most often shows up first. When the toxins contained in plaque start to inflame and irritate the gum tissues, a bacterial infection is generally present. It is caused by certain bacteria that have been chronic within your mouth. The body’s immune system is perpetually in “fight mode” once these certain bacteria are present. Among adults in the developed world, periodontal disease is the leading cause of tooth loss. Additionally, research studies have shown there is a strong connection between periodontal disease and other chronic and debilitating conditions such as heart disease, diabetes, pregnancy complications and respiratory disease. What can be done? Let us explain To prevent gum disease from starting or minimizing its effects if you are affected, dental procedures by family dentist Dr. Khullar, like root planing and scaling, might be applied. Here is why they might be necessary: DISEASE PREVENTIONThe oral bacteria which cause periodontal infections can travel via the bloodstream to other parts of the body. Research and studies have indicated heart disease and lung infections have been connected to periodontal bacteria. Root planning and scaling remove bacteria and halt periodontal disease from further progressing, therefore preventing bacteria from traveling to other parts of the body. TOOTH PROTECTIONThere is a greater risk of periodontal disease when gum pockets exceed 3mm in depth. As these pockets deepen, they tend to house more colonies of dangerous bacteria. Ultimately, a chronic inflammatory response by the body starts to damage bone and gingival tissue which can lead to tooth loss. Periodontal disease is the number one cause of tooth loss in the developed world. AESTHETIC EFFECTSRoot planing and scaling help eliminate plaque and tarter from the teeth and below the gum line. As an added bonus, if external stains are found on the teeth, they will be removed in the process of the root planing and scaling procedure. BETTER BREATHHalitosis (bad breath) is one of the most common signs of periodontal disease. Bacteria and food particles can cause a relentless bad odor in the oral cavity which is improved with cleaning procedures such as root planning and scaling. WHAT DO SCALING AND ROOT PLANING TREATMENTS INVOLVE?Scaling and root planing treatments are only performed after a meticulousness examination of the mouth. Your family dentist, Dr. Khullar, will take X-rays, perform visual examinations and make a diagnosis before recommending these procedures. Depending on the existing condition of the gums, the total amount of tartar present, the depth of the pockets and the development of the periodontitis, a local anesthetic may be used. It's as simple as taking care of your teeth Preventative care keeps the bacteria out. It's as simple as that. With a regular and thorough at home regime consisting of daily brushing and flossing, along with twice a year visits to our office, gum disease is something that should never affect you. If you already suspect you are at risk, a quick trip to our family dentist practice, Dentalways, will determine the best course of action.