What is Periodontal Disease?
Bacteria in plaque can begin breaking down and destroying your gums and the bones that support your teeth. This condition is called periodontal disease. If untreated, pockets begin to form because of the gums and teeth separating. This then affects the root surface and underlying bone. That bone will start deteriorating and the tooth will be lost.
Signs of Periodontal Disease
- Loose or lost permanent teeth
- Separation between teeth and gums
- Shifting of teeth position
- Gums that are red, swollen, tender or bleeding
- Chronic bad breath
- Release of puss from between teeth and gums when pressure applied
Factors that Increase Chances of Periodontal Disease
- Poor nutrition
- Tobacco use
- Clenching and grinding teeth
Periodontal Disease Treatment
The only way to remove plaque that has developed into calculus is by a professional cleaning. When treating periodontal disease, Dr. Baldwin is very conservative and strives to avoid surgical treatments. But if your periodontal disease is well advanced, you will need to be referred to a Periodontist (gum specialist). Below are two treatments Dr. Baldwin uses at his office:
- Periodontal Debridement – An ultrasonic scaler uses water and high-frequency waves to remove the heavy plaque and tartar build-up.
- Root Planing and Scaling – For plaque and tarter that has developed below the gum line, root planing and scaling is used. This cleans between the gums and teeth all the way down to the roots. If needed Dr. Baldwin will recommend numbing your gums and roots of your teeth with a local anesthetic.
Additional Risks and Side Effects of Periodontal Disease?
There are other health risks with periodontal disease besides being a threat to your teeth and gums. The bacteria found in gum disease has been found to be linked to:
- Rheumatoid Arthritis
- Certain cancers, including pancreatic cancer
- Complications controlling blood sugar levels in diabetes
- Heart Disease
- Premature birth
- Low birth weight babies
Call Dr. Baldwin’s office to set up an appointment in which we can discuss the best treatment for your situation.