Gum disease, or periodontal disease, is a chronic inflammation and infection of the gums and surrounding tissue of our teeth. In North America, it is the major cause of about 70% of adult tooth loss, affecting 3 out of 4 persons at some point in their life – partly so, because the symptoms do not become painful until it is too late to treat the problem. Smokers and those who use smokeless tobacco products are more at risk for periodontal disease, as are those persons with compromised health issues like diabetes.
The most common early symptoms are swollen and bleeding gums. If nothing is done, the infection can spread deeper into the bone and periodontal ligaments that support your teeth. This eventually leads to an abscess around the tooth which can only be resolved by removal of the infected tooth.
Health Problems Related to Gum Disease
In recent years, gum disease has been linked to other health problems. There is ongoing research into connections to atherosclerosis and heart disease, stroke, premature low birth-weight babies, diabetes, and respiratory conditions.
In the early stages of gum disease, most treatment involves a special cleaning called scaling and root planing which removes plaque and tartar around the tooth and smooths out the root surfaces. Antibiotics may be used to supplement the effects of scaling and root planing. More advanced cases may require surgical treatment, which involves cutting the gums back to facilitate removal of all deep calculus build-up and recontouring the damaged bone. This procedure is designed to smooth root surfaces and reposition the gum tissue so it will be easier to keep clean.
The best treatment for gum disease is early detection, routine visits with your hygienist and good oral hygiene practices which include brushing and flossing on a daily basis. Learn more about gum disease and its stages, then book an appointment to come see us!
Enjoy accessible parking, right in front of our clinic.