- Category: General Dentistry
Periodontitis or periodontal disease, is an oral health condition in which the gum tissue becomes infected and inflamed. Periodontitis is the number one cause of tooth loss seen in dental patients. Gingivitis, a term often heard alongside gum disease, is simply the bacterial infection that precedes periodontal disease. If left untreated, gingivitis will progress into periodontal disease. Gum disease can be easily prevented with regular dental check-ups and cleanings with name at clinic.
Once the gum disease is allowed to develop, the bacteria that reside in the mouth will produce toxins that actively work to damage the tooth’s connecting tissue and bone. The destruction of tissue and bone is what results in the loss of teeth.
Symptoms of Gum Disease
As periodontitis is allowed to progress, the dental bone has a tendency to recede. The affected gums may or may not recede depending on the case. In the cases where the gum tissue does recede, the tooth’s roots will be exposed causing sensitivity. Pockets may form between the teeth and gums, and may or may not be accompanied by pus. The recession of bone is not seen with the naked eye and so if left untreated or undetected, tooth loss will be inevitable. Such cases can be easily prevented with regular visits to your dental office for cleanings and examinations. Below we have listed some of the symptoms name will be looking for in such an examination.
- Bad breath
- Gums that are swollen or sensitive
- Gums that bleed during brushing, flossing, etc.
- Gums that are bright red or purple
- Teeth that are loose or have shifted
- Gums that feel tender or are painful to touch
Causes of Gum Disease
There are several known causes of gum disease that can be controlled and corrected. Below we have listed some of the primary contributors to the development of gingivitis and periodontal disease.
Poor dental hygiene: Plaque is a colorless biofilm that likes to attach itself to the surfaces teeth which, if not removed, will harden within 48 hours forming tartar. Plaque that is allowed to remain will accumulate in the tiny gaps between the teeth as well as the gingival grooves, and in the margins of removable dental appliances known as ‘plaque traps.’ These tiny collections of colorless biofilm may seem trivial. However, the bacteria within the biofilm produce toxins which trigger the painful inflammatory response in the gum tissue. Plaque can easily be removed with daily brushing and flossing. Tartar must be professionally removed by name ( Dentist) or dental hygienist.
Changes in hormones: Changes in metabolism, hormone levels brought on by puberty, pregnancy, and menopause can negatively impact the mouth’s oral balance, making teeth and gums more vulnerable to gum disease.
Medications: Certain medications may be accompanied by oral side effects such as dry mouth syndrome which will disrupt the flow of saliva and promote the development of periodontitis. As we age, our saliva flow is reduced which can cause older patients to be more susceptible to gum disease. Some medications also produce the overgrowth of gingival tissue which cause the gums to be more susceptible to bacteria along with gum disease.
Grinding: Clenching or grinding the teeth can cause damage to the surrounding gum tissue and may contribute to the development of periodontal disease.
Medical Conditions: Health conditions, such as diabetes and kidney disease, affect the body’s ability to produce sugar which can contribute to the development of gum disease. There is a correlation between health problems such as stroke, diabetes, heart attack and periodontitis.
Gum Disease Treatment
There are several options available for the treatment and relief of gum disease. The treatment, however, will vary depending on the severity of each case. name ( Dentist) will evaluate your specific needs during your dental examination. The extent of damage to your oral health caused by the periodontitis will ultimately determine the treatment plan required to correct it.
Plaque and calculus will be removed during your dental cleaning which may require deep scaling and root planing. If necessary, a local anesthetic may be administered during this treatment. name may also prescribe antibiotics to treat bacteria that has collected in the pockets of gum tissue in addition to a medicated mouthwash to be integrated into your daily oral health regimen.
Advanced Gum Disease Treatment
In some cases in which the bone has been destroyed, name ( Dentist) may call for tissue regeneration. This procedure involves bone grafting in order to create better conditions for bone re-growth. Soft tissue grafts may also be used to strengthen thin gums. Tissue regeneration requires the insertion of a thin layer of tissue to help promote the bone regeneration process, a procedure often used in periodontal surgery.
Laser therapy can be performed to reduce the size of pockets which allow bacteria to collect and produce the harmful toxins that cause periodontitis.
Pocket Elimination Surgery
Sometimes surgery may be required as part of the treatment plan to prevent unwanted tooth loss caused by periodontal disease. Below we have provided some of the options available:
- Periodontal flap surgery is used to reduce the gap in pockets between the teeth and gums created by gum disease.
- Jaw bone found to contain craters of collected bacteria, may require that the bone be re-contoured to eliminated such craters, thus preventing the future housing of potential bacteria growth.
Gum Disease Treatment Costs
The cost of treatment for gum disease will vary depending on the severity and requirements of each case. For example, cases that require deep scaling and root planning in the gingivitis stage of gum disease will differ from the cost of treatment necessary to restore the oral health of a patient with a more progressed form of periodontitis.
Upon diagnosis and some treatment, you dentist may refer you to a periodontist who specializes in treating gum disease in order to perform more advanced methods of treatment which may be required.
Depending of the extent of progression in each case, treatment for periodontal disease may cost anywhere from $500 to $10,000. The cost for regular dental cleanings to ensure the prevention of bacteria re-colonization can range between $30 and $75. The cost of periodontal scaling and root planing can range from $140 to $210. Active periodontal therapy, a treatment in which an antimicrobial agent is locally administered into the pockets of the gum to eliminate bacteria, costs about $75 per tooth. The periodontal maintenance required following active therapy costs about $115. Other factors that will determine the cost of periodontal treatment include the technology required for procedure, the location and experience of name ( Dentist), and the type of coverage provided by your dental insurance plan.