Because periodontal disease can result in tooth loss, it’s very important to receive proper treatment to get the disease under control as soon as the disease has been diagnosed. The sooner treatment is administered, the better the prognosis will be.
The course of treatment for gum disease depends upon the severity of the disease. In its early stage (gingivitis), no major damage of the tissues has yet occurred. Left untreated, however, gingivitis can progress to periodontitis. At this stage, the internal layers of the gums begin to pull away from the teeth, and pockets are formed. Food debris gets caught in these pockets, creating a perfect breeding ground for bacteria. Eventually, the bacteria cause the gums to become infected. The teeth and tissues surrounding the teeth begin to break down. Teeth become loose in their sockets, leading to potential tooth loss.
Gingivitis can be stopped by proper brushing, flossing, and routine professional dental cleanings. Plaque that forms from bacteria on teeth and around the gums is the main cause of gingivitis. Removal of this plaque is necessary to prevent the progression of gingivitis to periodontitis.
As gum disease progresses into periodontitis, the plaque that accumulates on the teeth and around the gum tissues begins to calcify into tartar. Deep scaling of the tissues, as well as root planning and polishing of the teeth, become necessary to remove the tartar. Improved oral hygiene is also very important to keep the periodontal disease from progressing even further.
If left untreated, periodontitis can advance to a stage at which teeth become very mobile and bone loss becomes so severe that removal of the teeth becomes necessary to clear the infection.
The best course of action against periodontal disease is to prevent it before it begins! Brush and floss your teeth often. Visit our dentist for regular checkups and cleanings. If a problem arises, seek treatment immediately. Don’t risk unnecessary tooth loss!