Gum disease, also known as periodontal disease, is a serious infection of the gums and supporting tissues of the teeth. It is caused by inadequate oral hygiene that leads to plaque and tartar buildup along the gumline.
Plaque buildup can cause gingivitis, which is a mild early stage case of gum disease. This can lead to gum pulling away from the teeth and forming gum pockets that trap bacteria and food particles. When these gum pockets are greater than 3 mm deep, this is a sign of gingivitis.
When gingivitis is left undealt with, the infection will become worse. Whereas it would have been reversible in the early stage at our West Hartford practice, once it develops into periodontitis, you will deal with bone loss and soft tissue damage. Over time, your teeth may become loose or fall out in the advanced stages. Gum depths of 4 mm or greater indicate periodontitis.
The signs of gingivitis include bad breath or a bad taste in the mouth, red, swollen, tender, and bleeding gums. This occurs when your gums are inflamed, but because the symptoms aren’t severe, they can easily go unnoticed.
Indications of periodontitis include the gums receding (pulling away from the teeth), abscesses, teeth that feel loose, new gaps between the teeth, changes to your bite, and pus (in addition to the previous symptoms present in gingivitis).
If you have any of these signs, contact us at Arch Dental of West Hartford today to schedule a consultation with Dr. Rabia Kaur. We can make a diagnosis by measuring the depths of your gum pockets.
A deep cleaning, also known as scaling and root planing, is a more intense cleaning developed for patients who have periodontal disease. It involves using a scaler to scrape away plaque and tartar from above and below the gum line as well as smoothing out the tooth’s roots for easier reattachment of the gums.
In routine dental cleanings, scaling is performed above the gum line but not down to the tooth’s roots or deep into gum pockets where plaque and tartar become trapped in gum disease. Gum disease causes your gum pockets to deepen which traps more bacteria. Once your gum depths measure at 5 mm, they become difficult to clean and a deep cleaning will be necessary.
If you have advanced periodontitis, you will suffer from extensive gum recession due to soft tissue damage and bone loss that causes your gums to pull away from your teeth.
When your gums have significantly receded, a gum graft from our West Hartford office will be necessary to restore and regenerate missing gum tissue. This surgical graft is typically taken from the roof of the mouth and transferred to your gums.
Periodontal care is important, not only for maintaining good oral health but overall health. The connection between your oral and overall health cannot be overstated. Studies have shown that there is a clear connection between gum disease and your risk of developing serious health conditions such as diabetes, heart disease, heart attack, stroke, and hypertension.
By preventing gum disease, you reduce your risk of contracting these serious conditions and therefore reduce your risk of dying. Caring for your oral health also prevents irreversible bone loss and soft tissue damage that results from gum disease. Lost teeth need to be replaced, which costs time and money.