Periodontal disease, also known as gum disease, is an infection of the gums surrounding your teeth. Periodontal disease is one of the top reasons for tooth loss in adults, and because it typically does not cause any pain, many patients do not know that they have the disease. During each regular checkup, your dentist will check for signs of periodontal disease by measuring the space between your teeth and gums.
Gum disease is caused by a buildup of plaque (a sticky film of bacteria that forms on the teeth). If the plaque is not removed (by flossing, brushing, and regular dental checkups), it will continue to build up and create acids that can damage the teeth and gums. Periodontal disease forms just below the gum line and creates small pockets that separate the gums from teeth. Periodontal disease has two stages: gingivitis and periodontitis.
This is the early stage of gum disease, when the gums become red, swollen, and bleed easily. At this stage, the disease is treatable and can usually be eliminated by daily brushing and flossing.
If left untreated, gingivitis will advance into periodontitis, and the gums and bone that support the teeth can become seriously and irreversibly damaged. Periodontitis can cause teeth to become loose and fall out.
Treatments for gum disease can vary depending on the severity of each individual case. Our practice uses non-surgical methods for treatment, including at-home periodontal trays, and scaling and root planning (deep cleaning) in order to provide you with the least invasive forms of treatments. Based on the severity of the disease, your dentist will prepare a treatment plan that will fit your needs.
Regular dental checkups and periodontal examinations are important for the prevention of gum disease. In addition, by practicing good oral hygiene at home, you can significantly reduce your chances of ever getting the disease. Remember to brush and floss regularly, eat a balanced diet, and schedule regular dental visits to help keep your smile healthy.
The first step in any procedure is to do a full examination of your teeth and mouth and then review with you the different options to give you a beautiful smile. Many cosmetic procedures can be done without cutting or with minimal preparation — and affordably, and yet make a tremendous difference to your smile.
Mount Vernon Dental Smiles offers a special New Patient Consultation to evaluate your teeth and gums and show you different ways you can improve your smile. We can take pictures of your teeth and — using cosmetic imaging software — manipulate them to show you how your smile would look using different procedures.