Periodontal Disease Treatment

Periodontal disease is an infection that attacks the gums and bone that surround and support the teeth.  In its early stage, called gingivitis, the gums can become swollen and red, and they may bleed. In its more serious form, called periodontitis, the gums can pull away from the tooth, bone can be lost, and the teeth may loosen or even fall out. According to the CDC, periodontal disease and tooth decay are the two biggest threats to dental health.

The treatment you receive depends on the severity of your periodontal disease, and can range from a simple in-depth cleaning and flossing (scaling and root planing) to laser-assisted periodontal therapy.  If you feel you may have periodontal disease, schedule an appointment with your dentist to discuss your options.

The following are warning signs of periodontal disease:

  • Bad breath or bad taste that won’t go away
  • Red or swollen gums
  • Tender or bleeding gums
  • Painful chewing
  • Loose teeth
  • Sensitive teeth
  • Gums that have pulled away from your teeth
  • Any change in the way your teeth fit together when you bite
  • Any change in the fit of partial dentures

Risk factors

Certain factors increase the risk for periodontal disease:

  • Smoking
  • Diabetes
  • Poor oral hygiene
  • Stress
  • Heredity
  • Crooked teeth
  • Underlying immuno-deficienciese.g., AIDS
  • Fillings that have become defective
  • Taking medications that cause dry mouth
  • Bridges that no longer fit properly
  • Female hormonal changes, such as with pregnancy or the use of oral contraceptives