Periodontal disease is a progressive condition that begins with mild gum inflammation called gingivitis. It is the leading cause of tooth loss in adults living in the developed world, and therefore should be taken very seriously. Periodontal disease (also called gum disease) is typically signified by red, swollen, painful, or bleeding gums. In some cases, it 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.
In the case of mild/moderate periodontal disease, the focus of the periodontist will be on curing the underlying bacterial infection and then providing advice on the most appropriate home cleaning methods.
Because periodontal disease is progressive, it is essential to remove the bacteria and calculus build-up to halt the spread of the infection. Sometimes a deep scaling is needed to remove the bacterial plaque and calculus (tartar) from the teeth and surrounding 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 also trained in all aspects of dental implant procedures, which can restore functionality to the mouth when teeth have been affected by periodontal disease. A dental implant may be good option to replace a tooth that has been lost due to periodontal disease, or any other reason. Please call to schedule a consultation if you would like to learn more about dental implants or other periodontal treatments.