Periodontal in Colorado Springs, CO
Your One Stop Dental Private Practice in Colorado Springs, CO
Periodontal disease – or gum disease occurs when plaque is not cleaned off regularly and is allowed to harden on the teeth and becomes tartar. A bacterium in the tartar then causes the gums to become inflamed or infected. Tarter or hardened plaque can only be removed by a dental professional, the hygienist.
Periodontal disease is a serious condition and remains the leading cause of tooth loss among adults.
The bacteria in tarter produce toxins and acids that cause gum redness, irritation, and swelling. These toxins spread below the gum line and cause bleeding gums and eventually bone loss resulting in loose teeth or even tooth loss.
Symptoms of periodontal disease listed in the order of disease progression:
- Puffy, red, sensitive gums
- Bleeding gums – healthy gums do not bleed
- Bad breath caused by the infection
- Gums will begin to separate from the teeth – this increases your pocket depths between the tooth and gum – something a hygienist checks for at your check-ups
- Receding gums are a sign of the destruction of the surrounding gums and bone
- Shifting and loose teeth
- Teeth that are so loose they may need to be removed
Even though bacterial tarter is the main cause of periodontal disease, some groups of people are especially prone to it including people who:
- Are diabetics
- Are Asian in ethnicity
- Have an immunodeficiency or weak immune system
- Pregnant women or are experiencing hormonal changes
- Misaligned teeth also contribute to the disease
- Stress and nutrition can also contribute
- People taking certain medications
- Periodontal cleaning (also called scaling and root planing) which involves the removal of the tartar under the gums, followed by the smoothing of the root surface and polishing
- The hygienist may recommend antimicrobial mouthwashes after the tartar is removed (the use of these before the tartar is removed may cause more complications)
- Regular periodontal maintenance cleanings are imperative following the treatment (usually performed every 3 months – until pocket depths are stabilized)
- Periodontal surgery when all the above-mentioned treatment options do not reduce pocket depth down
Regular professional dental cleanings and excellent oral hygiene habits are equally important in preventing serious dental health problems associated with periodontal disease.
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