At Southcommon Dental, our Mississauga dentist helps our patients prevent and manage periodontal (gum) disease.
About Gum Disease
Periodontal (gum) disease is an infection of the tissues the support the teeth, including the gums, gingiva, alveolar bone, cementum, and the periodontal ligament.
Poor oral hygiene habits, smoking and systemic diseases that allow plaque to build up on the teeth and harden, eventually affecting the gums are all risk factors for gum disease.
Gum Disease & Your Overall Health
It is important to treat gum disease because it can affect a number of health issues, including diabetes, heart health, and the ability to lead a healthy lifestyle.
Stages of Gum Disease
In its early stages, gum disease is difficult to detect. In fact, many people only begin to recognize symptoms when they have progressed past the early stages.
Left untreated, gum disease typically progresses in the following stages:
Gingivitis is the most mild stage of periodontal disease. Plaque and its toxin by-products irritate the gums, making them bleed easily, and feel tender and inflamed.
If it is not removed, plaque will eventually harden into tartar. As tartar and plaque continue to build up, they cause the gums to start receding from the teeth. Pockets form between the gums and teeth as a result, in which bacteria and pus collect. The gums continue to feel irritated, inflamed, and they bleed easily. Slight to moderate bone loss may occur.
- Advanced Periodontitis
During this stage, the teeth lose more support as the gums, bone, and periodontal ligaments continue to deteriorate. The affected teeth will become very loose and may even fall out. Moderate to severe bone loss in the jaw may occur.
Gum Disease Treatment
Treatment methods for gum disease depend on its type and severity. If the disease is caught in the early stages, preventative therapy will be recommended.
Otherwise, gum disease treatment will fall into one of these categories:
- Non-Surgical Gum Therapy
For patients with gingivitis, non-surgical gum therapy may be sufficient. Non surgical gum therapy is a deep cleaning performed by a dental hygienist. The hygienist will remove the plaque and tartar at the gum line, and smooth out rough areas through a process called scaling and root planing.
- Surgical Gum Therapy
For those with more advanced forms of gum disease, surgical treatment may be required to reverse it. There are a few different types of surgical gum therapy, including flap surgery, guided tissue regeneration, tissue grafting, and bone grafting
- Post-Treatment Maintenance
After your periodontal treatment is complete, our dental team will recommend that you have regular dental examinations and preventative therapy, usually four times a year.
Good oral hygiene practices and preventative therapy are essential in keeping periodontal disease under control.