Periodontal disease is a medical term for gum disease, which ranges from inflammation to serious damage to the soft tissues and bone that support the teeth. In the worst cases of untreated gum disease, people’s teeth can actually fall out.
Our mouths are full of bacteria, which can form a sticky, colorless plaque on our teeth. The good news is that brushing and flossing can help remove plaque. However, plaque that is not removed can harden and form tartar.
When plaque and tartar remain on your teeth, your gums can become inflamed, swollen and bleed. This is called “gingivitis” and is an early form of gum disease. Usually, brushing and flossing your teeth daily, and getting regular cleanings at our dentist office every six months can reverse gingivitis. Fortunately, gingivitis does not result in any loss of bone and tissue.
However, if gingivitis is not treated it can advance to a more serious form of gum disease called “periodontitis.” When you have periodontitis, your gum tissues actually pull away from the teeth and form spaces, which are called “pockets,” that can get infected.
When your body fights these infections and the bacteria, your body’s natural responses and bacterial toxins can actually break down the bone and gum tissue that hold your teeth in place. If periodontitis is not treated, then the bones, gums, and tissue that support your teeth can be destroyed and your teeth may get loose and fall out.
The first type of therapy is a professional dental cleaning. A dentist Laguna Hills or a hygienist will remove the plaque and tartar that has hardened on the teeth. This cleaning takes place above and below the gum line. Normally, you would get a cleaning every six months, but if you have gum disease, your dentist may advise you to get more cleanings.
The second type is of periodontal therapy is scaling and root planing. This is basically a deep cleaning of your teeth and gums. In scaling, plaque and tartar are scraped away by the dentist, above and below the gum line. Planing is where rough areas of the tooth are made smooth by your dentist so that gums can reattach to the teeth.
In most patients, dental cleanings, scaling and root planing are all that is needed to treat gum disease. However, there are times when surgery has to be done to repair the gum tissue and bone around the teeth.
Antibiotics can be used with surgery, periodontal therapy or alone, to reduce or temporarily eliminate bacteria that causes gum disease.
Of course, you will be given and painkillers (anesthesia) to help numb the area and avoid pain during your periodontal therapy.
If you suspect that you have gum disease, don’t put off treatment for another day. The longer it goes untreated, the worse it gets. Please call (949) 558-2598 and make an appointment with an experienced emergency dentist Laguna Hills who can save your gums and teeth.