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Gum & Periodontal Dentistry

Can periodontal disease be cured?

What Is Gingivitis?

Gingivitis - an inflammation of the gums - is the initial stage of gum disease and the easiest to treat. The direct cause of gingivitis is plaque - the soft, sticky, colorless film of bacteria that forms constantly on the teeth and gums.

If the plaque is not removed by daily brushing and flossing, it produces toxins (poisons) that can irritate the gum tissue, causing gingivitis. At this early stage in gum disease, damage can be reversed, since the bone and connective tissue that hold the teeth in place are not yet affected. Left untreated, however, gingivitis can become periodontitis and cause permanent damage to your teeth and jaw.

How Do I Know if I Have Gingivitis?

Classic signs and symptoms of gingivitis include red, swollen, tender gums that may bleed when you brush. Another sign of gum disease is gums that have receded or pulled away from your teeth, giving your teeth an elongated appearance. Gum disease can cause pockets to form between the teeth and gums, where plaque and food debris collect. Some people may experience recurring bad breath or a bad taste in their mouth, even if the disease is not advanced.

How Can I Prevent Gingivitis?

Good oral hygiene is essential. Professional cleanings are also extremely important because once plaque has hardened and built up, or become tartar, only a dentist or dental hygienist can remove it.

You can help stop gingivitis before it develops by :

1. Proper brushing and flossing to remove plaque and debris and control tartar buildup
2. Eating right to ensure proper nutrition for your jawbone and teeth
3. Avoiding cigarettes and other forms of tobacco
4. Scheduling regular checkups with your dentist

Gingivitis, being a reversible condition, will restore quickly once dental plaque is removed and prevented from returning (by regular tooth brushing and flossing). Periodontitis unfortunately is NOT reversible. The loss of support structures (including bone) around teeth is usually a permanent feature. At best it can only be halted by appropriate treatment and satisfactory personal oral hygiene. In severe cases, a permanent disfigurement (such as gum recession and elongation of teeth) remains and the patient has to accept these limitations. Plastic and reconstructive surgery can correct some of these disfigurements sometimes but not in all cases. After active periodontal treatment is completed periodic follow-up care and maintenance treatment must be done. This is usually done alternating every three months.

Periodontitis is a condition (LIKE DIABETES OR HIGH BLOOD PRESSURE) this means that it cannot be completely cured but it can be managed. It will depend on you, the patient, to maintain excellent levels of oral hygiene once the initial treatment is completed. This is why the maintenance visits are so important to ensure that the condition is kept under control. After the initial treatment in conjunction with your own dentist a maintenance plan will be devised for you.

Remember that the most important member of the treatment team is you. Your interest, participation and commitment are essential to make your treatment a success.

What is the treatment for periodontal diseases?

Depending on how far the diseases have progressed, treatment can vary widely. In the early stages of periodontitis, treatment may involve a good homecare regime, scaling and root planing. This means removing plaque and calculus in the pockets around the tooth and smoothing the root surfaces. Scaling and root planing helps rid the mouth of infection-causing bacteria and irritants beneath the gum line. More advanced cases may require periodontal surgical treatment. The goals of these treatment are to remove calculus from deep pockets around teeth, reduce the pockets, smooth root surfaces and arrange gum tissue into a shape that will be easier to keep clean.

The many benefits of periodontal treatment include fresh breath, the ability to chew your food more easily, healthy gums that are free from infection and most importantly, helping you achieve your goal of keeping your natural teeth for a lifetime! Whatever the treatment may entail, our goal is to return you to good oral health and then to help you to maintain it.Should you have lost all your teeth through periodontal disease we offer all on four or six dental implants supported fixed teeth, which is a better solution to replacing your missing teeth with a denture.

What is Periodontal Surgery?

This surgical procedure is used by us to smooth or correct defects and irregularities in the bone surrounding the diseased teeth with the ultimate goal of reducing or eliminating the periodontal pockets.