What is Periodontal Disease?
Gingivitis is the early stage of periodontal disease. The bacteria-plaque starts attacking the root of the teeth and the jawbone, and if not treated, you might even lose some teeth.
Periodontal means “located around the tooth”. Periodontitis is characterized by localized pain, loose teeth, pockets between the gum and the tooth, redness, swelling and/or signs of infection. Dental x-rays may reveal destruction of bone as it begins to erode due to the infection. Abscesses are common and there is sometimes halitosis (bad breath), with bleeding and often painful gums.
Although oral hygiene is of great importance in treating and preventing periodontal disease, it is not sufficient in most cases.
Root Scaling and Root Planing
Scaling and root planing is the most common and conservative form of treatment for periodontal (gum) disease. Scaling is the removal of calculus (commonly called tartar) and plaque that attach to the tooth surfaces. The process especially targets the area below the gum line, along the root of the tooth.
Plaque is a sticky substance, full of bacteria, that forms on teeth. When plaque hardens over time, it is called calculus. Plaque is more likely to stick to rough surfaces. For this reason, the root surface is made smooth in a process called root planing. Root planing removes any remaining calculus and smoothes irregular areas of the root surface.
At Dr. Danny Soares’ Oakville dental office, our hygienists will monitor your periodontal state and when any signs of gum disease are detected, will notify you and recommend the appropriate treatment. It is important to note that pregnant women are at a higher risk for gum disease. Don’t lose your teeth, speak to us today!
Periodontal Disease and Systemic Health
Research has shown that periodontal disease is associated with several other diseases. For a long time it was thought that bacteria was the factor that linked periodontal disease to other disease in the body; however, more recent research demonstrates that inflammation may be responsible for the association. Therefore, treating inflammation may not only help manage periodontal diseases but may also help with the management of other chronic inflammatory conditions.
- Heart Disease
- Respiratory Disease
- Preterm Low-Birth Weight Babies