Periodontal or gum disease is a chronic infection of your gums that causes damage to both your tissue and your bone that supports your teeth. If this condition is left untreated, it will eventually result in tooth loss.
The main cause of gum disease is a colorless layer of plaque that accumulated on the surface of your teeth. If the plaque is not removed, it will harden and turn into tartar. The bacteria in the plaque will lead to an infection and subsequent destruction of the gum tissue that holds your teeth in place. The result is your gum tissue separating from your teeth, creating a “pocket” that will ultimately cause your teeth to fall out.
Statistics reveal that three out of four adults over the age of 35 develop periodontal disease to some degree.
Symptoms of periodontal disease include:
- Bleeding during brushing and flossing
- Red, swollen gums
- A distasteful odor emanating from your mouth
- Formation of gaps between your teeth
- Pain in your oral cavity
- Exposure of the neck of the tooth
Non-Surgical Treatment First
At Aesthetic Dentistry, we use non-surgical periodontal therapy to remove the plaque and tartar by treating conditions that encourage gum disease and controlling the growth of destructive bacteria. Often times, non-surgical treatment is all a patient needs, particularly when gum disease is discovered early enough. However, if the disease has already progressed considerably, surgery may be necessary.
Depending on your situation, you may also need additional procedures, like replacing worn fillings or dental crowns that can collect plaque, before we can begin periodontal therapy.
Scaling and Root Planing
One type of cleaning that we do is scaling, which removes plaque and tartar from the teeth and just below your gumline. Root planing smoothes the surfaces of your tooth’s root, allowing the supporting gum tissue to reattach to your tooth. This is generally done with a local anesthesia so you can relax and feel no pain while we are restoring the health of your gums.
Because periodontal disease is a bacterial infection, our goal is to eliminate those bacteria in order to reduce your infection. For this reason, you may be prescribed an antibiotic in addition to scaling and root planing that is either taken orally or applied to your gum pocket in a powder form. You may also be prescribed an antibacterial to control the harmful effects of gum disease, and help reduce future buildup of bacterial plaque.
A misaligned bite or occlusion can also result in bone destruction. It may be necessary adjust your bite so that your jaw is relaxed and your teeth are able to close properly.
If you are suffering from any of the symptoms of gum disease, please call Aesthetic Dentistry of Bernardsville at (800) 672-8518 or schedule your consultation online. It is important to have this condition treated as soon as possible to prevent further damage. Dr. Patti Swaintek-Lamb is an experienced, LVI trained dentist who can help restore your oral health. We serve patients from Bernardsville, Morristown, Basking Ridge, Mendham, Chester, Far Hills and nearby areas in New Jersey.