Posts for tag: periodontal disease

By Brookside Dental Care
August 16, 2021
Category: Oral Health

When you hear the term 'periodontal disease,' it means a disease is located in the gums. The dentists at Brookside Dental Care, Dr. Alexander Pritsky and Dr. Roger Lang, located in Stockton, CA, are experts in treating the two types of gum disease - gingivitis and periodontitis.

What are Gingivitis and Periodontitis?

Gingivitis is characterized as the inflammation of the gums caused by a bacterial infection. If you leave it untreated, it can lead to a more severe condition called periodontitis.

The primary cause of tooth loss in adults is gingivitis and periodontitis.

Causes of Gingivitis and Periodontitis

Our gums attach to the teeth at a point in the gum called a sulcus. Plague and food particles can get trapped in this space, causing gingivitis.

Plaque is a film of bacteria that form on teeth. As it grows, it hardens and becomes tartar. An infection evolves when plaque extends below the gum line.

If it goes undetected, gingivitis can cause the gums and teeth to separate, causing injury to the soft tissue and bone supporting the teeth. As a result, your tooth may become loose and unstable. You may ultimately lose your teeth if the infection continues to progress.

Risk Factors of Gingivitis and Periodontitis

When preventing gingivitis and periodontitis, it is best to know the following risk factors:

  • Smoking and other tobacco products
  • Diabetes
  • Crooked teeth
  • Broken fillings
  • Pregnancy
  • Certain medications, such as steroids and oral contraceptives
  • Genetics
  • Immune deficiencies

Symptoms of Gingivitis and Periodontitis

You may not know you have gingivitis. You may have gum disease without any symptoms, but you may also suffer from:

  • Red, tender, and swollen gums
  • Gums that bleed after flossing or brushing
  • Gums that are pulled away from teeth
  • Tooth loss
  • A change in your bite
  • Pus between teeth and gums
  • Foul-smelling breath
  • Partial dentures that no longer fit properly
  • Pain with chewing

Treatment of Gum Disease

When you visit your dentist Dr. Pritsky or Dr. Lang, at their office, located in Stockton, CA, they will be able to diagnose and treat your gum disease.

First and foremost, good oral hygiene is the best way to treat gum disease. Treatment also includes a deep cleaning of your teeth, antibiotics, and possibly surgery.

Your dentist may also prescribe several medications to treat your gum diseases, such as an antiseptic mouthwash, antibiotic microspheres, and time-released antiseptic chips.

If you think you may have periodontal disease, it is time to visit a dentist as soon as possible to prevent further damage. Please call Dr. Pritsky or Dr. Lang at Brookside Dental Care, located in Stockton, CA, because you need a reliable dentist to provide the best care. Call (209) 952-8804.

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If you suspect you have periodontal (gum) disease, it's important to get a correct diagnosis and begin treatment as soon as possible. The sooner you begin treatment the better the long-term outcome.

Gum disease is a bacterial infection that's most often triggered by plaque, a thin film of food particles on tooth surfaces. Plaque buildup most often occurs when a person doesn't practice effective oral hygiene: daily brushing and flossing and professional cleanings at least twice a year.

The most common type of gum disease, gingivitis, can begin within days of not brushing and flossing. It won't always show itself, but you can have symptoms like swollen, red or bleeding gums, as well as bad taste and breath. You could also develop painful abscesses, which are localized pockets of infection within the gums.

If we don't stop the disease it will eventually weaken the gum attachment to the teeth, bone loss will occur and form deep pockets of infection between the teeth and bone. There's only one way to stop it: remove the offending plaque from all tooth surfaces, particularly below the gum line.

We usually remove plaque and calculus (hardened plaque deposits) manually with special hand instruments called scalers. If the plaque and calculus have extended deeper, we may need to perform another procedure called root planing in which we shave or “plane” the plaque and calculus (tartar) from the root surfaces.

In many cases of early gum disease, your family dentist can perform plaque removal. If, however, your gum disease is more extensive, they may refer you to a periodontist, a specialist in the treatment and care of gums. Periodontists are trained and experienced in treating a full range of gum infections with advanced techniques, including gum surgery.

You can also see a periodontist on your own for treatment or for a second opinion — you don't necessarily need a referral order. If you have a systemic disease like diabetes it's highly advisable you see a periodontist first if you suspect gum disease.

If you think you might have gum disease, don't wait: the longer you do the more advanced and destructive the disease can become. Getting an early start on treatment is the best way to keep the treatment simple and keep gum disease from causing major harm to your teeth and gums.

If you would like more information on the diagnosis and treatment of gum disease, please contact us or schedule an appointment for a consultation. You can also learn more about this topic by reading the Dear Doctor magazine article “When to See a Periodontist.”

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Periodontal (gum) disease is a serious infection that can damage more than periodontal tissues — supporting bone structure is also at risk. Any bone loss could eventually lead to tooth loss.

To stop it from causing this kind of damage, we must match this disease's aggressiveness with equally aggressive treatment. The various treatment techniques all have the same goal: to remove bacterial plaque, the source of the infection, from all oral surfaces, including below the gum line. Buildup of plaque, a thin film of food particles, after only a few days without adequate brushing and flossing is enough time to trigger gum disease.

The basic removal technique is called scaling, using hand instruments called scalers to manually remove plaque and calculus (hardened plaque deposits) above or just below the gum line. If the disease or infection has advanced to the roots, we may use another technique called root planing in which we shave or “plane” plaque and tartar from the root surfaces.

Advancing gum disease also causes a number of complex problems like abscesses (localized infections in certain areas of gum tissue) or periodontal pockets. In the latter circumstance the slight normal gap between tooth and gums becomes deeper as the tissues weaken and pull away. This forms a void or pocket that fills with inflammation or infection that must be removed. Plaque buildup can also occur around furcations, the places where a tooth's roots divide off from one another.

It may be necessary in these more complex situations to perform a procedure known as flap surgery to gain access to these infected areas. As the name implies, we create an opening in the gums with a hinge, much like the flap of a paper envelope. Once the accessed area has been cleansed of plaque and infected tissues (and often treated with antibiotics to stop further infection), the flapped tissue is closed back in place and sutured.

To avoid these advanced stages it's important for you to see us at the first sign of problems: swollen, red or bleeding gums. Even more important is to reduce your risk for gum disease in the first place with dedicated daily brushing and flossing to remove plaque and regular dental visits for more thorough cleaning.

Gum disease can be devastating to your long-term dental health. But with diligent hygiene and early aggressive treatment you can stop this destructive disease in its tracks.

If you would like more information on treating gum disease, please contact us or schedule an appointment for a consultation. You can also learn more about this topic by reading the Dear Doctor magazine article “Treating Difficult Areas of Periodontal Disease.”

4ReasonsWhyYouMayNeedtoSeeaPeriodontistforYourGumDisease

After treating you for periodontal (gum) disease for some time, we may suggest you see a periodontist, a specialist in gum conditions and diseases. There are a number of reasons for a referral, including the specific type of gum disease you may have developed.

Here are 4 more reasons why seeing a periodontist might be advantageous at this stage in your dental care.

Advanced treatment. All dentists are skilled in basic treatment procedures for gum disease, particularly removing plaque and calculus (hardened plaque deposits) that cause and sustain infections. But if your disease has advanced deeper below the gum line and has resulted in infection-filled void pockets between teeth and gums or in gum recession (the tissues shrinking back from the teeth), you may need more advanced techniques and equipment provided by a periodontist.

Advanced Cleanings. Regular, twice-a-year office cleanings are part of every dental care program. But depending on the severity of your gum disease (and your own hygiene efforts) you may need more frequent and advanced cleanings to keep recurring infections at bay. A periodontist can provide this, as well as help you develop a daily hygiene plan that meets your needs.

Your general health. There are a number of systemic conditions like diabetes, cardiovascular disease or pregnancy that can affect gum health. Many of these issues are tied to tissue inflammation, a major component of chronic gum disease, as well as slower tissue healing. As specialists in the gums and their relationship with the rest of the body, a periodontist can develop a treatment approach that coordinates with these other health issues.

Future restoration preparation. One of our treatment goals with gum disease is to try to prolong the life of natural teeth for as long as possible. In reality, though, some or all of your teeth may have a shortened life expectancy. If a comprehensive dental restoration is in your future, a periodontist can help prepare your gums for the inevitable. They may also be able to repair or restore gum tissues that enhance the appearance of a restoration to create a more attractive smile.

If you would like more information on advanced treatment for periodontal disease, please contact us or schedule an appointment for a consultation. You can also learn more about this topic by reading the Dear Doctor magazine article “Referral to a Dental Specialist.”