Periodontal Therapy is an art as well as a science. The thoroughness and technique of expert and experienced hygienists makes a difference in the outcome of your treatment. We know our hygienists are well trained, well educated and intelligent. And we are pretty sure they are among the best in the world in terms of the art of hygiene while making sure you are comfortable. And if you need actual treatment our docs have done thousands and thousands of successful procedures – and still hope we can keep with healthy while avoiding surgery.
What is Periodontal (Gum Disease)
You have probably noticed the commercials on television referring to Gingivitis and Periodontitis. Yet a lot of people still don’t know very much about Periodontal Disease even after hearing about it. Following is an outline that we hope will be helpful.
What is Periodontal Disease?
Periodontal Disease is the most common chronic inflammatory disease in the country. It is an infection of the tissues that surround your teeth and is primarily caused by the bacteria that collects between your teeth and gums. There is a small crevice, or sulcus, between the tooth and gums that is normally three millimeters or less. If you have periodontal disease, this space grows and forms a pocket. As the disease worsens, these pockets get larger and more bacteria accumulates. If left untreated, the bone around the teeth is destroyed, and the teeth may become loose, abscessed, or even fall out.
Early periodontal disease starts in the gums, and is called gingivitis. With appropriate treatment Gingivitis is reversible. Without treatment it progresses and eventually affects the bone around the tooth and becomes Periodontitis. Periodontal Disease can be stopped, but the bone loss is permanent.
Who Gets Periodontal Disease?
While Periodontal disease can affect anyone these factors increase your risk:
- Ineffective brushing and flossing habits
- Smoking and/or chewing tobacco
- Broken fillings, crowns or teeth.
- Pregnancy, Puberty, and Oral Contraceptives.
- Systemic diseases like diabetes and blood cell disorders.
Periodontal Disease has warning signs that often do not cause discomfort. Some of these warning signs include:
- Gums that bleed easily.
- Red and swollen gum tissue.
- Persistent Bad Breath.
- Receding Gums.
- Changes in the way your teeth come together when you bite.
It is also possible to have periodontal disease with no warning signs.
Prevention and Treatments
The best way to prevent periodontal disease is to have regular examinations and cleanings while maintaining good oral hygiene at home. We at Tewksbury Dental Associates provide careful treatment and consultation to prevent periodontal disease. We usually treat moderate Periodontal Disease by cleaning your teeth thoroughly every three months until we are convinced that it is under control. More severe cases include deep scalings. We may also recommend the use of topical or oral antibiotics. In rare cases, we have to turn to surgical procedures. We provide treatment at our Tewksbury location for the Greater Boston communities of Andover, Billerica, Chelmsford, and Wilmington, Massachusetts.