When you visit Ortman Family Dentistry for your regular checkups, our dentist will carefully examine your mouth for any signs of periodontal (gum) disease. If gum disease is found, he will recommend an appropriate treatment to eliminate the harmful bacteria in your mouth and improve your oral health. Call us today at 765-447-0322 for more information on our treatment options for gum disease in Lafayette, Indiana, and to schedule an appointment with Dr. Greg Ortman.
Periodontal, or gum, disease is a degenerative condition caused by bacterial infection in the gums surrounding your teeth. When left untreated, the bacteria in your mouth inflame and infect your gum tissues, causing the gums to pull away from the teeth, and eventually resulting in tooth loss, bone loss, and gum recession. In fact, gum disease is the leading cause of tooth loss in adults. Additionally, periodontal disease has been linked to a number of serious medical conditions, including heart disease, stroke, diabetes, osteoporosis, and premature birth and low-weight babies.
Gum disease is caused when plaque builds up on the teeth. If not removed, this plaque creates toxins that damage your gums. Periodontal disease often forms just below the gum line, and creates small pockets that separate the gums from the teeth, giving bacteria a place in which they can multiply and cause further damage.
There are two forms of gum disease:
- Gingivitis – This is the earlier, milder stage of gum disease. Gingivitis is characterized by red, swollen gums that bleed easily. In this stage, gum disease is treatable, and can usually be eliminated by proactive oral hygiene habits.
- Periodontitis – Periodontitis occurs when gingivitis is left untreated. In this stage, the gums and bone that support your teeth sustain serious and irreversible damage, causing your teeth to become loose or fall out, your bone density to deteriorate, and your gums to recede. Unfortunately, there is no cure for gum disease in this stage, but there are a number of treatments to more effectively manage your disease and improve your oral health.
Symptoms of periodontal disease include:
- Gums that bleed easily
- Gums that are unusually red
- Swollen, tender gums
- Gums that have pulled away from the teeth
- Persistent bad breath (halitosis) or a recurring bad taste in your mouth
- Pus between your teeth and gums
- Permanent teeth that are loose or separating
- Changes in the fit of your partial dentures
- Changes in your bite
Please be aware that certain factors can increase your risk of developing periodontal disease. These factors include, but are not limited to:
- Smoking or other tobacco use
- Old fillings
- Crooked teeth
- Poorly fitting bridges
- Certain medications (steroids, anti-epilepsy drugs, cancer therapy drugs, calcium channel blockers, oral contraceptives, etc.)
Our practice offers a range of treatments for gum disease. The treatment we recommended will depend on the severity of your disease. Depending on your needs, we may recommend treatments such as at-home periodontal trays or scaling and root planing (deep cleaning), dental implants, periodontal surgery, or laser gum surgery.
We recommend that you keep your regular dental appointments so that our dentist and team can monitor your health and frequently check your mouth for any signs of gum disease. We also advise that you take care to practice good oral hygiene at home, as this will significantly reduce your chances of developing periodontal disease.
For more information on periodontal disease and treatments, please contact our office to make an appointment with our dentist.