Posts for tag: periodontal disease
Periodontal disease can develop when the gums become infected by lingering bacteria in the mouth. Some signs of infection include tender, swollen, or red gums. It is important to see a dentist for treatment if you develop any signs associated with periodontal disease. A dentist can begin periodontal therapy to stop the spread of infection and restore the health of your gums. Dr. Joseph DuRoss is your dentist in Long Beach, CA, for the treatment of periodontal disease.
Cause of Periodontal Disease
The chewing surfaces of the teeth contain numerous tiny pits, grooves, and crevices. Food debris and bacteria can become easily trapped in these spaces. Trapped bacteria left lingering on teeth can result in the formation of plaque and tartar buildup, as well as the development of gingivitis. Left untreated, gingivitis can progress into periodontal disease. Periodontal disease is best prevented by developing and maintaining good oral hygiene habits, such as brushing twice daily, limiting sugar consumption, and scheduling regular dental cleanings and exams.
Signs of Periodontal Disease
There are several signs that you may have periodontal disease. Individuals who develop any of the signs should see their Long Beach, CA, dentist for treatment. The dentist can take measures to restore the health of your gums. Signs of periodontal disease include:
- Gums that are swollen, tender, or red
- Gums that are sensitive and bleed easily
- Gums that are beginning to recede
- Severe toothaches
- Chronic bad breath
Periodontal therapy includes several methods for stopping the spread of infection and restoring gum health. Some common methods for treating periodontal disease include:
- Scaling and root planing
- Gum grafting
- Periodontal plastic surgery
Gum grafting is a technique used to replace lost gum tissue worn away by periodontal disease. Replacing gum tissue provides support for exposed teeth. Scaling and root planing are techniques for thoroughly cleaning teeth below the gum line. Cleaning the teeth down to the root creates a healthy surface so the gums can reattach as they heal from infection. Periodontal plastic surgery is used to reshape gum tissue for a more aesthetically pleasing appearance.
There are several signs that you may have periodontal disease, such as receding or sensitive gums that bleed easily. For the treatment of periodontal disease, schedule an appointment with Dr. DuRoss, your dentist in Long Beach, CA, by calling the office at (562) 424-8537.
While hygiene and regular dental care go a long way to reduce your risk of oral disease and disorders, you’re still subject to your heredity. Everything from tooth alignment to the shape of your jaws is determined by your genes.
So is the biological structure of your gum tissue. Aside from minute variations, gum tissue structure falls into two broad categories — “thin” or “thick,” which refer to the actual thickness of the tissue and the underlying bone. The tooth’s appearance is the best indicator of which type you may have: those with more triangular-shaped tooth (often called scalloped) have thin gum tissue; a person with a squarer appearance (flat) has thick gum tissue. People of Asian descent tend to have thin/scalloped tissue while those with European or African heritage tend to have thick/flat tissues.
Thick gum tissue isn’t superior to thin, or vice-versa. In fact, each type is susceptible to certain types of diseases or adverse conditions.
Thin tissues are more susceptible to the occurrence of receding gums. Caused mainly by periodontal disease and toothbrush abrasion, the gum tissue recedes and exposes more of the unprotected tooth surface that should be below the gum line. This increases the risk of decay and tooth loss. Patients with thick tissue, on the other hand, have a higher risk of developing a condition known as “pocketing.” As the thicker gum tissue becomes inflamed from dental plaque, it loses its attachment to the teeth and forms a small pocket. The end result is possible bone and tooth loss.
There’s not much you can do about which type of gum tissue you have, for which you can thank (or blame!) your ancestors. But there’s something you can do to reduce your risk of periodontal disease. First and foremost, you should practice good daily hygiene, brushing with a soft-bristled tooth brush and gentle flossing. It’s also important to maintain regular cleanings and checkups in our office; not only will this ensure complete plaque and tartar removal, but gives us a better chance to detect either receding gums or pocketing early. Earlier detection can mean better treatment outcomes — and a saved smile.
If you would like more information on genetic types of periodontal tissues, please contact us or schedule an appointment for a consultation. You can also learn more about this topic by reading the Dear Doctor magazine article “Genetics & Gum Tissue Types.”
Periodontal disease is the leading cause of tooth loss in adults. A recent survey by the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention showed that nearly half of Americans older than 30 had some signs of periodontal disease. That's more than 64 million people.
How much do you know about this potentially serious disease? Take our quiz and find out.
True or False: Gum Disease is caused by bacteria in the mouth
TRUE. Of the hundreds of types of bacteria that occur naturally in the mouth, only a small percentage are harmful. But when oral hygiene (brushing and flossing) is lacking, these can build up in a dental plaque, or biofilm. This often causes inflammation of the gums, the first step in the progression of gum disease.
True or False: Gum disease is more prevalent among younger people
FALSE. Gum disease is most often a chronic disease, meaning that it progresses over time. Statistics show that as we age, our chances of developing gum disease increase, as does the disease's severity. In fact, according to the study mentioned above, about 70% of adults 65 and over have mild, moderate or severe periodontitis, or gum disease.
True or False: Bleeding of the gums shows that you're brushing too hard
FALSE. You might be brushing too hard — but any bleeding of the gum tissue is abnormal. Gum sensitivity, redness and bleeding are typically the early warning signs of gum disease. Another is bad breath, which may be caused by the same harmful bacteria. If you notice these symptoms, it's time for a checkup.
True or False: Smokers are more likely to develop gum disease
TRUE. Not only are smokers more likely to develop gum disease, but in its later stages they typically show more rapid bone loss. Smoking also prevents the warning signs of gum disease - bleeding and swelling of the gum tissues - from becoming apparent. Other risk factors for developing the disease include diabetes and pregnancy (due to hormonal changes). Genetics is also thought to play a role in who gets the disease — so if you have a family history of gum disease, you should be extra vigilant.
True or False: The effects of gum disease are limited to the mouth
FALSE. Numerous studies suggest that there is a relationship between periodontal health and overall health. Severe gum disease, a chronic inflammatory disease, is thought to increase the risk of cardiovascular diseases like heart attack and stroke. It may also lead to complications in pregnancy, and problems of blood-sugar control in diabetics.
So if you have any risk factors for gum disease, or if you notice possible symptoms, don't ignore it: let us have a look. We can quickly evaluate your condition and recommend the appropriate treatments if necessary. With proper management, and your help in prevention, we can control gum disease.
If you have concerns about gum disease, please contact us or schedule an appointment for a consultation. You can learn more in the Dear Doctor magazine articles “Understanding Gum (Periodontal) Disease” and “Warning Signs of Periodontal (Gum) Disease.”