Gum disease is a progressive inflammatory condition affecting the gums, teeth, and bone. Gingivitis, the first stage of gum disease, begins when bacteria from plaque buildup on the teeth causes the gum tissue surrounding the teeth to become infected. Swollen, tender gums that bleed easily are one of the first signs of gingivitis, which is oftentimes painless at this stage. Untreated gum disease in Lafayette, IN, will continue to progress, causing gums to pull away from the teeth, destruction of the bone around the teeth, and the possibility for tooth loss. Chronic inflammation caused by more advanced stages of gum disease affects the body’s immune system, and gum disease has been linked to systemic conditions such as heart disease and diabetes.
Certain factors increase the risk for developing gum disease, including poor oral hygiene, tobacco use and smoking, medications, systemic diseases, pregnancy, and genetics. Seeking treatment for gum disease at the first signs of swollen or bleeding gums will prevent damage that can cause teeth to loosen and shift, altering how the teeth fit together and the risk for them being lost. Gum disease has no cure, but can be effectively managed with proper treatment and ongoing professional dental cleanings.
Gum disease in Lafayette, IN, is treated with a variety of techniques, including scaling and root planing. This form of periodontal treatment is a “deep cleaning” of the teeth above and below the gumline. Dental scaling removes the plaque and tartar buildup on the teeth, clearing the area of destructive bacteria. When all traces of this buildup have been eradicated, root planing smooths the tooth roots to help healthy gum tissue reattach securely to the teeth. If bone has been compromised because of gum disease, this may be reshaped and smoothed as well to help lessen the depth of the periodontal pockets when the gums reattach. Scaling and root planing is the first step to preventing gum disease from progressing and is a highly effective form of periodontal treatment. If you are concerned about bleeding gums when you brush and floss, have persistent bad breath, or loosening teeth, it is imperative that you seek periodontal treatment right away!