Advanced gum disease is called periodontitis. Chronic periodontitis can lead to the loss of tissue and bone that support the teeth. Also known as gum pocketing, this loss of support is a major cause of tooth loss in adults.
Bacteria found in dental plaque produce toxins that irritate the gums. If this irritation, or inflammation, is prolonged, the gums separate from the teeth, causing pockets to form. As periodontitis progresses, the supporting gum tissue and bone that supports the teeth deteriorates. If left untreated, the teeth become loose and are eventually lost.
We treat advanced gum disease using periodontal therapy. Periodontal therapy involves special instrumentation and sometimes antibiotics to remove buildup, bacteria, and infected tissue below the gumline. After periodontal therapy, patients return on a maintenance schedule every 3-4 months to monitor the healing of the tissues and remission of the disease.
Preventing Gum Disease
The best way to prevent gum disease is effective daily brushing and flossing as well as regular professional examinations and cleanings. Unfortunately, even with the most diligent home dental care, people with certain risk factors still can develop periodontal disease. Once this disease starts, professional intervention is necessary to prevent its progress.
Risk factors of periodontal disease
- Poor oral hygiene
- Smoking or chewing tobacco
- Poor nutrition
- Clenching and grinding teeth