Periodontal (Gum) Disease: Risk Factors and Treatment

If you’ve been told that you have Periodontal (Gum) Disease, you’re in the company of many adults in the U.S. Ranging from mild gum inflammation to serious gum infection and loss of teeth, Periodontal Disease should be taken seriously. Perhaps classifying gum disease is easier with a breakdown of risk factors and treatments.

Periodontal (Gum) Disease: Risk Factors

While Periodontal Disease is mostly characterized by the build-up of plaque on teeth and gums over time, the following are risk factors associated with the development of gum disease:

Smoking – By wearing down and weakening gum tissue, smoking encourages bacterial growth in the mouth. As if this is not bad enough, smoking also decreases the body’s ability to receive treatment.

Hormones – Specifically in women, hormonal changes during pregnancy and menopause cause gum tissues to become sensitive, which leads to mild gum disease (Gingivitis).

Diabetes – Those with Diabetes are prone to infection in many areas of body, including infection in the mouth (gum disease).

Medications – Some medications reduce the flow of saliva, leading to dry mouth. Without enough saliva, bacteria are not regularly washed away, increasing the chance for infection.

Treating Periodontal (Gum) Disease

Scaling and Root Planing – As a non-surgical treatment for gum disease, scaling involves scraping tartar above and below the gum line. Root planing refers to removing rough spots from the tooth’s root where germs collect.

Medications: Used in combination with scaling and root planing, medications help keep bacteria in the mouth at bay. Some examples include antimicrobial mouth rinse, antibiotic gel (placed on pockets after scaling), enzyme suppressants, and oral antibiotics (to reduce inflammation).

As a surgical means of treating gum disease, flap surgery is a procedure where dentists lift back the gums and remove tartar. From here, the gums are sutured and reestablished around the teeth, creating a tight fit. Another surgical method is a bone or tissue graft. This treatment regenerates bone and gum tissue growth that has been lost. Natural or synthetic bone is placed where bone once was, stimulating new bone growth. In the same way, guided tissue regeneration encourages the connective tissues to grow again.

The team at Vital Smiles welcomes your family to our practice. Our goal is to provide quality dental care that is affordable and convenient for you. We understand the long-term effects of Periodontal (Gum) Disease, and we are eager to help you. Call us today and make the first step towards achieving optimal oral health.

Posted on behalf of Vital Smiles

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