Periodontal is defined as around a tooth, and periodontics is a branch of dentistry focusing on the tissues and structures that surround teeth, including the gums and bone. Periodontal disease, also called gum disease, is a serious inflammatory disorder that can lead to tooth loss if not treated. It begins with an infection called gingivitis, and it can quickly progress to a more advanced stage known as periodontitis.
Anyone can develop periodontal disease; it is much more common than you might expect. According to the Canadian Dental Association, approximately 70 percent of all Canadians will develop it at some point in their lives. Several factors can increase your chances of developing periodontal disease. These include:
The best method of treatment depends on the severity of the disease. In the earliest stage, known as gingivitis, scaling and root planing, along with diligent oral hygiene, is usually sufficient. Unfortunately, few people notice the problem at this stage, because the symptoms are so subtle. Gingivitis may cause swollen gums that bleed easily, but it is rarely painful.
The 3 stages of gum disease are gingivitis, periodontitis, and advanced periodontitis. Gingivitis is caused by toxins irritating the gum line as a result of plaque buildup. Signs and symptoms of gingivitis can include swelling, sensitivity and bleeding of the gums during brushing and flossing. Gingivitis can be easily reversed through professional care and good home oral hygiene. Periodontitis is categorized by irreversible bone loss that results from untreated gingivitis. The Gums may begin to form a pocket below the gum line which traps food and plaque. Dental treatment and home care can help prevent from further damage but at this stage the results are not reversible.
Advanced Periodontitis is when the fibers and bones supporting the teeth are destroyed. This may cause teeth to shift or loosen; teeth may have to be removed depending on how advance the disease has become and if treatments are not effective. You can begin by preventing gum disease with good oral health. Pick up a brochure or ask your dentist today!
Periodontitis, the more advanced stage of the disease, may require more aggressive treatment such as gum surgery or laser therapy. These procedures remove the diseased tissue and help the gums re-attach to the teeth. If not controlled, periodontal disease can cause abscesses, decay, and eventual tooth loss. Research in recent years indicates a strong connection between gum disease and serious health conditions such as coronary disease and diabetes.
Early detection is essential to minimising the potential damage from this condition. If you haven’t seen a dentist recently, schedule an appointment to visit us at one of our convenient dental centres in the Greater Toronto areas of North York, Pickering, or Scarborough.