Periodontal disease, or gum disease, is an infection of the tissues that surround and support your teeth. It is a major cause of tooth loss in adults. At Koopah & Koopah, a check for periodontal disease is always part of your regular dental check-up, using a small dental instrument to probe the space between the teeth and the gums. As periodontal disease progresses, the pockets of space become deeper.
What are the stages and kinds of periodontal disease?
Gingivitis is the first stage of periodontal disease, characterized by irritated gums that are tender, inflamed, and likely to bleed.
Periodontitis occurs when plaque hardens into tartar. As tartar builds up, the gums become very irritated and inflamed, and bleed easily. The gums begin to recede from the teeth. Slight to moderate bone loss may be present.
Advanced periodontitis is when the gums, bone, and periodontal ligament continue to be destroyed. Unless treated, the affected teeth will become very loose and may be lost. Moderate to severe bone loss may be present.
How do you treat periodontal disease?
Depending on the type and severity of the disease, Dr. Reza Koopah and Dr. Amir Koopah may recommend a special periodontal cleaning called scaling and root planing (deep cleaning). If the disease is caught in the early stages of gingivitis, and no damage has been done, one to two regular cleanings will be recommended. If the disease has progressed to more advanced stages, you may undergo a procedure in which tartar, plaque, and toxins are removed from above and below the gumline (scaling) and rough spots on root surfaces are made smooth (planing). This procedure helps gum tissue to heal and pockets to shrink. Medications, special medicated mouth rinses, and an electric toothbrush may be recommended to help control infection and healing. If the pockets do not heal after scaling and root planning, periodontal surgery may be needed to reduce pocket depths, making teeth easier to clean.
How can I prevent periodontal disease and maintain gum health?
Within only 24 hours, plaque that is not removed from your teeth turns into tartar. Daily home cleaning helps control plaque and tartar formation, but the hard-to-reach areas will always need special attention. Once your periodontal treatment has been completed, your dentist and dental hygienist will recommend that you have regular maintenance cleanings (periodontal cleanings), usually four times a year.