People generally associate dentists with teeth. But gums, tongues, jawbones and other structures in the mouth are equally important and need just as much care.
Gum disease is insidious. It is the most common oral health problem in adults, but it can also affect children.
Gum disease is preventable and can be reversed when detected and treated early. If left untreated, however, it can worsen and lead to loosening or even loss of teeth.
The most common forms of gum disease are gingivitis and periodontitis.
The periodontium is the structure that holds and keeps teeth in place. It is made up of the jawbone, the periodontal ligament, cementum and gums.
When one of these tissues is weakened due to infection, the periodontium is no longer able to do its job effectively. As a result, teeth can become loose.
The importance of periodontics
Periodontics is a specialized branch of dental medicine concerned with diagnosing and treating diseases affecting the periodontium.
During a regular check-up, we look for any signs of these diseases and we measure the space between teeth and gums, also called the periodontal pocket. If we suspect a problem, we’ll perform a more thorough periodontal exam.
Treating the issue will stop it from getting worse and will restore your teeth’s support structures.
First, we’ll perform a complete cleaning, including roots and gums. Then, we’ll prescribe antibiotics to treat your infection, if needed.
At Dr. Lari’s clinics, we use a laser diode to treat periodontal disease. This procedure is much less invasive than surgery. The tip of the laser is gently introduced in the periodontal pocket to eliminate tartar and bacteria.
Prevention is key
Gum disease is caused by plaque and tartar accumulating around or under gums. The ensuing bacteria causes gums to swell.
Good oral hygiene and regular dental check-ups are the best ways to prevent periodontal disease.
Periodontal disease is caused by:
- Poor dental hygiene
- Some health problems (autoimmune disease, diabetes)
- Some medications
Signs of gum disease
- Red, sensitive and swollen gums
- Bleeding gums when brushing and flossing
- Persistent bad breath
- Unexplained tooth sensitivity
- Gingival recession
- Loosening or loss of one or several teeth
Using the right tools and techniques, eating healthy and getting regular dental check-ups are essential preventive measures to ensure optimal oral hygiene.
Have you noticed unusual bleeding or a change in your gums? Call one of our clinics to schedule an appointment right away.