Periodontitis (gum disease), is a condition where people lose the supporting bone around their teeth. It is not typically painful until it is in an advanced stage, by which time teeth can be compromised enough that they are loose and prone to localized gum infections. Periodontal disease may be the source of bad breath or bleeding gums. Avoiding periodontal disease is one of the main reasons to have your teeth cleaned regularly, as it is the material that builds up on your teeth that leads to the localized inflammation and ultimately bone loss. If caught early, periodontal disease can be halted and teeth can be retained that might otherwise have been lost.
Periodontal disease has also been linked to many general health problems including diabetes, cancer, respiratory disease, alzheimers and heart disease.
Treatment of Periodontal Disease
Root Planing and Scaling
A deep cleaning technique that eliminates microorganisms from beneath the gum line and from the tooth root.
Antibiotics or antimicrobial drugs may be used to combat infection and minimize the size of gum pockets caused by periodontitis.
If other treatments fail, flap surgery may be used to peel away gum tissue so that it can be cleaned beneath. Gum or bone grafts may also be used to restore any bone or gum tissue that has been injured or lost as a result of periodontitis.
How to Prevent Periodontal Disease
- Practice Oral Hygiene
The greatest strategy to avoid periodontitis is to practice good oral hygiene from a young age and continue to do so throughout your life. This includes cleaning your teeth for two minutes at least twice a day in the morning and before bed and flossing at least once a day. Flossing before brushing assists you to remove loosened food particles and microorganisms.
- Have Regular Dental Checkups
Cleanings should be done regularly, usually every six months, by our experienced hygienists. If you have risk factors for periodontitis, including dry mouth, diabetes or smoking, you may require expert cleaning more frequently.
Visit Mark Fried, DMD to learn more about periodontal treatments. Contact our Framingham dentist office at (508) 625-9055, or schedule an online consultation to learn more about our services.