Reduce Incidents of Gum Disease
According to the American Dental Association, one out of two adults age 30 or older suffer from periodontal disease. Periodontal disease is an infection in the mouth that affects the tissues that surround and support the teeth. At Govani Dental, we evaluate our patients closely for signs of gum disease and take measures to reduce the incidents of gum disease.
What Causes Gum or Periodontal Disease?
Periodontal disease is most often caused by plaque, the sticky film that forms on teeth and contains bacteria. When plaque is missed during brushing and flossing, it hardens and turns into tartar. Gum disease can progress into periodontitis with a permanent loss of bone structure.
Gum disease can be localized to one tooth or area of the mouth, or it can be generalized and affect all or most of the teeth. Periodontal disease does not always affect the teeth at the same time or to the same severity. For example, one tooth may experience active gum disease with bone loss while another tooth may not experience any active gum disease.
Evaluating for Periodontal Disease
Gum disease can progress slowly, and symptoms are not always noticeable. That’s why it’s important to visit us for regular check-ups. During which we evaluate the tissue and do full periodontal charting. We evaluate the supporting bone around the teeth for mobility and any bone loss. We check the color, tone and texture of the tissue. Healthy tissue is stippled, pale pink, and firm whereas unhealthy tissue may be red inflamed, soft and rolled or bulbous in appearance. Taking X-rays allows us to check for any bone loss or defects.
During the evaluation we will look for loosening teeth, tissue recession and exposed roots—all signs of possible bone loss. At Govani Dental, we also conduct a thorough review of your medical history to determine whether a health condition, such as diabetes or the need for certain medications with side effects, are worsening periodontal disease.
The start of gum disease, also known as gingivitis, is reversible. Gingivitis is the start of inflammation that can be treated with dental cleanings and evaluations. At the start of gum disease, our trusted dental hygienist will provide general cleaning procedures with scaling and polishing.
If there is the start of infection due to bacteria and loss of some bone structure related to the teeth, that means gum disease is no longer gingivitis, it has progressed to periodontitis. If that is the case, we’ll likely start with deep cleaning, called scaling and root planing to remove bacteria and tartar under the pink tissue. Scaling removes tartar below the gum line, while planing smooths the tooth root, helping the gums reattach to the root. Our goal with these treatments is to prevent further bone loss and stabilize the tissue.
After this treatment, it’s important to visit us more often for periodontal maintenance. Different from a routine dental cleaning, maintenance takes place every three to four months. This is needed to prevent periodontal disease from progressing or recurring. If periodontitis is advanced with severe bone loss or cannot be stabilized, we may refer you to a periodontist who specializes in treating the gum tissues and bone.
Catch Periodontal Disease Early
Help prevent gingivitis and periodontal disease by brushing at least twice a day. Using floss, eating a well-balanced diet and visiting us for regular exams and cleanings are also critical. At Govani Dental of Oshkosh Wisconsin, we want to help you keep your teeth, gum tissues and bones as healthy as possible. Contact us for an appointment today.