Why Your Gum Disease Needs Immediate Comprehensive Treatment

Dentist Blog

Untreated gum disease can ultimately be incredibly destructive and may lead to the removal of the affected gum tissues. Why might this be the most appropriate form of treatment for advanced periodontal disease, and how did the situation become so serious?

Plaque Calcification

Periodontal disease is a bacterial infection that initially begins on your teeth as plaque. Plaque is a sticky film made up of microorganisms (bacteria). It should be removed by brushing and flossing, yet if a patch of plaque hardens (calcifies), it becomes calcified plaque, also known as tartar. Dental tartar is too dense to be removed with a toothbrush and requires a professional cleaning, which is a routine part of general dentistry.

Developing Gingivitis

Tartar will eventually form beneath the gum line, and a bacterial infection of your gum tissues will follow. This is called gingivitis. Gums will bleed slightly without any real provocation. They can be noticeably tender, even sore, and may look inflamed. Professional cleaning can reverse gingivitis. It removes excess bacteria from your teeth via tartar removal, eliminating the source of the infection, and allowing your gums to heal themselves. Failure to seek treatment allows the infection to worsen.

Developing Periodontal Disease

Untreated gingivitis graduates to periodontal disease, featuring a worsening of the symptoms you've already been experiencing. There may now also be accumulations of pus in your gums. The infection is literally deepening, working its way through the soft tissues of your gums, and into the hard tissues of your alveolar ridge, which is the dense part of your jaw that holds your dental sockets.

Tooth Loss

Periodontal disease that affects your bone can lead to tooth loss. The periodontal ligaments that help to anchor your teeth will weaken, and the tooth's connection to the bone will loosen. This is how gum disease can result in missing teeth. Urgent treatment is needed.

Effective Treatment for Periodontal Disease

Your dentist will perform a thorough scaling of your teeth to remove tartar. Debridement (the manual scraping of ingrained tartar) will likely be necessary. Root planing (removing plaque and tartar from the roots of the teeth) can also be helpful. Antibiotics can be prescribed on a case-by-case basis. Your dentist might also recommend a gingivectomy, which is the surgical removal of diseased gum tissues that will not otherwise heal. This is carried out under local anesthetic and can be the most pragmatic way to remove the aftermath of your periodontal disease. Your gums are manually reshaped, so the missing tissues will not be conspicuous. 

Symptoms of gum disease must not be dismissed—even when they seem relatively minor. It won't stay minor for long, so it's time to see your dentist.

Reach out to a local general dentistry clinic for more info.


6 July 2023

Fluoride: Why I Drink Tap Water

When the bottled water craze began, I jumped on the bandwagon with everyone else who was drinking water from bottles instead of from the tap. I wasn't sure why bottled water was healthier, but I liked the taste. When I went for my next dental check-up, I had my first cavity in a while, so I had it filled and didn't think much of it. Well, I had two more during my next check-up after that, and I began trying to think of why my teeth were suddenly going bad. The only change in my habits was the switch to bottled water, so I made the switch back to tap water and my teeth began to improve. I created this blog to encourage others who have begun getting cavities suddenly to look into their changes in habits. They may find they made a change similar to mine.