Pasadena, Deer Park Texas: Periodontal Disease
Periodontal disease (gum disease) is a bacterial infection of the structures around the teeth, which include the gums, periodontal ligament and alveolar bone. In the earliest stage of periodontal disease, gingivitis, the infection affects the gums. In the advanced forms of the disease, all of the tissues are involved.
The bacterial infection affects the gums because the toxins contained in plaque (bacterial colonies) begin to irritate, inflame and destroy the gum tissues. Periodontal disease is a progressive condition that destroys the connective tissue and bone around teeth. If left untreated, gum disease leads to shifting teeth, loose teeth and eventually tooth loss. Periodontal disease is the principal cause of tooth loss among adults in the developed world and should always be promptly and aggressively treated. Dr. Nugent’s experiences mirror world statistics that show more teeth are lost due to gum disease than decay.
Periodontal Disease Types
When left untreated, gingivitis (mild gum inflammation) will spread to below the gum tissue. When the gums become constantly irritated by the bacterial toxins, a chronic inflammatory response will cause the body to break down and destroy its own bone and gum tissue. Unfortunately, there is no pain associated with this destruction. In fact, there may be little or no symptoms as the gum tissue and bone is destroyed. Deepening pockets between the gums and teeth is a sign that soft tissue and bone is being lost by periodontal disease.
- Chronic Periodontitis – Inflammation within supporting tissues causes deep pockets and gum recession. It appears the teeth are lengthening. However, the gum tissues is actually receding. This is the most common form of periodontal disease. It is characterized by escalating loss of gum tissue and bone, intermixed with periods of rapid progression.
- Aggressive Periodontitis –It is categorized by rapid loss of gum attachment, chronic bone destruction.
- Necrotizing Periodontitis – Occurs mostly in young adults with predisposing factors such as psychological stress, sleep deprivation, poor oral hygiene, smoking, immunosuppression and/or malnutrition. Necrosis (tissue death) occurs in the periodontal ligament, alveolar bone and gingival tissues.
Periodontal Disease Treatment
There are nonsurgical and surgical treatments for periodontal disease depending upon the condition of the teeth, gums and jaw bone. A complete periodontal exam of the mouth will be performed by Dr. Nugent and his Hygienists before any treatment is performed or recommended. It is only after this detailed evaluation will your exact gum tissue status be known.
Scaling and root planing – The bacteria and calculus (tartar) which is causing the infection, must be removed. The ultrasonic scaling device removes calculus, plaque and biofilm from the tooth surface and underneath the gum line. Next, the hygienist will use a manual hand instrument to remove the remainder of the calculus, plaque and biofilm. Root planing involves detailed scaling of the root surface to decrease inflammation of the gum tissue by making the root surface as smooth as possible. In reviews, Scaling and root planing is the cleaning of the root surfaces to remove plaque, bacteria and calculus from deep gum tissue pockets and to smooth the tooth root to remove bacterial toxins.
Dental implants – When teeth have been lost due to periodontal disease, the cosmetics, form and functionality of the mouth can be restored with dental implants. Dental implants are the best way to replace missing teeth and they will never get decay. Furthermore, dental implants are the only teeth replacement method that stimulates and preserves the jaw bone.