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Periodontal simply means “the tissue around the teeth.” Periodontal disease or gum disease, a chronic inflammation and infection of the gums and surrounding tissue, is the major cause of about 70% of adult tooth loss affecting 3 out of 4 persons. Periodontists specialize in the treatment and surgery of this area, which is often characterized by gum disease. Plaque is the most common element causing gum disease.

Signs include red, swollen or tender gums, bleeding while brushing or flossing, gums that pull away from teeth, loose or separating teeth, puss between the gum and tooth, persistent bad breath, change in the way the teeth fit together when you bite, and a change in the fit of your partial dentures.  Unfortunately, periodontal-related problems are often discovered after they have persisted for an extended period of time.  Proper oral hygiene, daily dental care, and regular dental checkups will minimize the risk of gum disease.  In the early stages, most treatment involves scaling and root planing to remove the plaque and calculus around the tooth and smooth the root surfaces.  Antibiotics may be used to supplement the effects.  More advanced cases may require surgical treatment.  Gum disease ranges from mild gingivitis to moderate periodontitis to severe periodontitis.  Treatments are available for every case of gum disease.

Common problems associated with gum disease:

  • “Long” teeth (receding gum lines expose the root portions of your teeth)
  • Discolored or deteriorating tooth structure
  • Gum depressions (holes in between the teeth in the gum tissue)
  • Infected gum line (discoloration or inflammation of the gum tissue)
  • Tooth loss or tooth movement

The effects of gum disease can be damaging to your dental health. However, through proper preventive care and oral hygiene, you can avoid problems associated with gum disease.

Please contact our office for a periodontal evaluation.

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