Periodontal disease is the leading cause of adult tooth loss in the US. Roughly 50% of American adults between ages 30 and 90 suffer from some type of gingivitis or periodontal issues.
Gum disease is more prevalent in smokers, people who suffer from systemic diseases, excessive stress, and other leading factors. Our team of professionals here at Studio Smiles are more than happy to perform an initial exam and see if you are suffering from gingivitis.
Oftentimes, we see patient’s come into our office only when they experience pain within their mouth. Pain usually is not a symptom of periodontitis. This absence of pain could explain why gingivitis is often in advanced stages when a patient seeks treatment and why a patient might decide against treatment, even after receiving a diagnosis of periodontitis.
Gingivitis: The Early Stage of Periodontal Disease
Gingivitis is usually identified by an increase presence of inflammation of the gums, slight redness or swelling, and bleeding gums caused by the build-up of bacteria and plaque. Gingivitis usually does not cause pain and can be reversible with professional cleaning that removes all the plaque and tartar, which works to reduce the amount of bacteria that is present. This type of periodontal therapy will stop inflammation from progressing any further.
In order to treat gingivitis, our doctors will perform a cleaning using an ultrasonic cleaner or hand instruments. Untreated gingivitis may progress to more advanced stages of gum disease, called Periodontitis – often referred to as periodontal disease or gum disease.
Periodontal disease sets in when inflammation advances from the gingiva to the delicate tissues that help support the teeth. These tissues include: PDL ligaments, tooth sockets, and even your bone. Your gum tissue will have a reddish/blue color to them, which is often accompanied by bleeding, swelling, and sensitivity. If left untreated, x-rays will show slight to severe bone loss, which will not only affect your teeth but the way your jaw and face appear. One of the largest issues with periodontal disease is once it progresses to the supporting tissues of the teeth, your teeth will begin to become loose. Even further advanced stages of periodontal disease can, and will, lead to tooth loss. The reasoning for this is because there is a massive amount of bacteria present around your teeth and your body will fight to remove that bacteria by rejecting the tooth and surrounding tissue.
A process called “deep – cleaning” which is also known as a Scaling and Root Planing (SRP) is performed in order to treat periodontal disease. This procedure has two parts to it: Scaling and Root Planing.
Scaling and Root Planing
Scaling and root planing involves the removal of calculus, bacteria, plaque, and any other harmful deposits from the entirety of the tooth.
The procedure has two parts to it.
- Scaling: In this first step, Dr. Modi or Dr. K will remove all of the plaque, tartar, and bacteria from the surface of the tooth. This includes not only the visible parts of the tooth, but underneath the gum-line as well, all the way to the bottom of the pocket. This is a very important procedure to perform because after bacteria has been present for a long duration, the tissues that “hold” the tooth actually detach from it.
- Root Planing: Once the teeth have been fully scaled and cleaned, root planing involves smoothing the tooth surface so the gum tissues can reattach to the tooth. This is not only to assist with gum resorbtion, but also necessary in order to reattach the periodontal ligaments that hold the tooth within your jaw.
Although this procedure is fairly common, with routine visits to our office, your gingival health should never reach this point. Due to anesthetics used during the treatment, the deep cleaning process may require 2-4 visits to complete to entire mouth. If you believe you are experiencing any form of gum disease and would like our team to take a look, please feel free to contact us and schedule an appointment today.