GUM DISEASE TREATMENT
Periodontal diseases are infections of the structures around the teeth. These include the gums, the cementum that covers the root, the periodontal ligament and the alveolar bone. In the earliest stage of periodontal disease, gingivitis, the infection affects only the gums. In gingivitis, the gums become red, swollen and can bleed easily. Gingivitis is a mild form of gum disease that can usually be reversed with daily brushing and flossing, and regular cleaning by a dentist or dental hygienist. This form of gum disease does not include any loss of bone and tissue that hold teeth in place.
When gingivitis is not treated, it can advance to periodontitis (inflammation around the tooth). In periodontitis, gums pull away from the teeth and form spaces (called “pockets”) that become infected. The body’s immune system fights the bacteria as the plaque spreads and grows below the gum line. Bacterial toxins and the body’s natural response to infection start to break down the bone and connective tissue that hold teeth in place. If not treated, the bones, gums, and tissue that support the teeth are destroyed. The teeth may eventually become loose and have to be removed.
Symptoms of gum disease include:
▪ Bad breath that won’t go away
▪ Red or swollen gums
▪ Tender or bleeding gums
▪ Painful chewing
▪ Loose teeth
▪ Sensitive teeth
▪ Receding gums or longer appearing teeth
If periodontitis isn't advanced, treatment may involve less invasive procedures, including:
Scaling. Scaling removes tartar and bacteria from your tooth surfaces and beneath your gums. It may be performed using instruments or an ultrasonic device.
Root planing. Root planing smoothes the root surfaces, discouraging further buildup of tartar and bacterial endotoxin.
Antibiotics. Your periodontist or dentist may recommend using topical or oral antibiotics to help control bacterial infection. Topical antibiotics can include antibiotic mouth rinses or insertion of gels containing antibiotics in the space between your teeth and gums or into pockets after deep cleaning. However, oral antibiotics may be necessary to completely eliminate infection-causing bacteria.
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