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Periodontal (Gum) Disease


Periodontal Disease Treatment at Park West DentalWhat Is Periodontal Disease/Gum Disease?
Gum disease is an infection of the tissues that surround and support your teeth. Because gum disease is usually painless, you may not know you have it. Also referred to as periodontal disease, gum disease is caused by the bacteria that is constantly forming on our teeth.

Here Are Some Warning Signs That Can Signal a Problem
•  Gums that bleed easily
•  Red, swollen, tender gums
•  Gums that have pulled away from the teeth
•  Persistent bad breath or bad taste
•  Permanent teeth that are loose or separating
•  Any change in the way your teeth fit together when you bite
•  Any change in the fit of partial dentures

There are many factors that increase the risk of developing gum disease, including: smoking, pregnancy and diabetes. It is important to visit Park West Dental if you suspect you have gum disease, because the sooner you treat it the better.

The Early Stage of Gum Disease Is Called Gingivitis
If you have gingivitis, your gums may become red, swollen and bleed easily. At this stage, the disease is still reversible and can usually be eliminated by a professional cleaning at your dental office, followed by daily brushing and flossing.

Advanced Gum Disease Is Called Periodontitis
Chronic periodontitis can lead to the loss of tissue and bone that support the teeth and it may become more severe over time. If it does, your teeth will feel loose and start moving around in your mouth. It usually gets worse slowly, but there can be periods of rapid progression.

Aggressive periodontitis is a highly destructive form of periodontal disease that occurs in patients who are otherwise healthy. Common features include rapid loss of tissue and bone, and may occur in localized areas or in the entire mouth. Periodontal disease cannot be cured, however, we have measures to help slow or stop the progression.

Research between systemic diseases and periodontal diseases is ongoing. While a link is not conclusive, some studies indicate that severe gum disease may be associated with several other health conditions such as diabetes or stroke.

Regular dental checkups and periodontal examinations are very important. The treatment methods that our dentists diagnose will depend upon the type of disease and how far the condition has progressed. Good dental care at home is essential for helping to keep periodontal disease from becoming more serious.

Prevention


Not all causes of gingivitis are within a person's control, but many are. One of the most effective ways to prevent it is through routine, comprehensive oral care. Regular brushing and flossing will greatly reduce the likelihood of developing this disease. Keeping your immune system strong is another. Researchers are exploring the links between the immune system and diet, exercise, stress and other factors.

Treatments


When you have been diagnosed with gum disease, it is important to follow your gum disease treatment plan. This can include things like changing how you brush and floss, changing the increments of how you do these activities, and even coming for procedures like scaling and root planing.
Thomas Bierman DDS • Peter Shaw DDS
Quan Ma DMD • Stephen Tornay DDS
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