Periodontics

Dentists don’t just work with teeth. In fact, they take care of the gums, jaw, tongue, and muscles around the head and neck.

Periodontics is the specific care of the gums. Just as teeth are susceptible to cavities, gums are susceptible to gum disease. In order to keep the teeth and the mouth healthy, any infected gums must be cleaned and healed.

What Causes Gum Disease?

The leading cause of gum disease in insufficient oral hygiene.

Throughout each day, a bacterial film called plaque develops over our teeth. Proper flossing and brushing will clean this film off, keeping your teeth and gums both safe. However, if it does not get cleaned away, plaque hardens into a much more difficult substance called tartar.

Once tartar forms, it can only be removed by a professional.

Tartar is irritating. It damages the gum tissues surrounding the teeth, and it inconveniently forms the perfect type of surface for more plaque to accumulate.

The Two Stages of Gum Disease

Gingivitis is the first to develop after the tartar begins to irritate. It is characterized by sore or swollen gums which bleed easily, slight loosening of the teeth, bad breath, and pain or temperature sensitivity.

Individually, most of these symptoms seem relatively minor. Many people wouldn’t go to the dentist for something as trivial as bad breath. This is when it’s important to remember that dentists work with more than just teeth.

If left untreated, gingivitis develops into a much more severe form of gum disease: periodontitis.

As tartar builds up and further infects the gums, the gum tissue begins to recede. This allows plaque bacteria to creep slowly deeper. Once this infection sneaks below gum line, periodontitis can eventually cause tooth loss through the destruction of tissues, ligaments, and bones in the mouth.

Treatment

Both stages of gum disease are treatable. Fortunately, the solution is not a complicated surgery or dramatic medication. The gums just need a serious deep cleaning. If cleaned well—and kept clean afterward—the gum tissue will gradually rebuild itself.

If you are experiencing the symptoms of gum disease, don’t hesitate to take advantage of this simple treatment. Give us a call right away.