Gum disease is the main cause of tooth loss. It is estimated that 75% of the adult population has some stage of gum disease. Gum disease progresses slowly over time, usually painlessly, until it is too late! Gums which bleed when brushing or flossing is a sign of gingivitis, the early stage of disease. If left untreated, a more advanced stage known as periodontitis may result. The gums often pull away from the teeth creating a pocket for more plaque and bacteria to accumulate, which allows bone loss to occur. When enough bone mass that supports the teeth has eroded, mobility or tooth loss results.
Treatment for early to moderate stages of gum disease involves scaling and root planting of the teeth (also known as deep cleaning) using local anesthetic. This procedure removes the plaque and tartar deposits above and below the gum line and disinfects the pockets. Dr. Popli reviews proper home care techniques which include using the Rotadent electric toothbrush, flossing, and possibly antibiotics.
Most patients who have had periodontal therapy require regular three month maintenance recalls to maintain stable, healthy gums. Advanced stages of gum disease may require a referral to a specialist known as a periodontist.
Research suggests that there may be a link between periodontal disease and other diseases such as stroke, bacterial pneumonia, diabetes, cardiovascular disease, and an increased risk of said diseases during pregnancy. Researchers have determined that inflammation and bacteria associated with periodontal disease affects these systemic diseases and conditions. Smoking also increases the risk of periodontal disease.
Our office performs a thorough gum exam at every checkup to determine if gum disease is present. Please call us to schedule your appointment.