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What is Periodontal Disease?

Periodontal disease, or gum disease, is an infection of the gum tissue and, in more advanced stages of the disease, the bone that support the teeth. The first stage of periodontal disease in gingivitis. This is marked by inflammation and bleeding of the gums and is the only stage of periodontal disease that is reversible. As the disease progresses the supporting bone is damaged and the disease is no longer reversible.

Can Periodontal Disease be Prevented? 

There are things that you can do to help prevent periodontal disease. Daily brushing and flossing are important parts of a preventive routine. In addition it is very important to have dental cleanings on the schedule recommended by your dentist and hygienist. It is impossible for people, even with the best home care to remove bacteria and deposits below the gum line. This must be done at your professional cleaning appointment.

What are the Symptoms of Periodontal Disease?

One of the deceiving facts about periodontal disease is that IT DOESN’T HURT. Periodontal disease generally has subtle symptoms (listed below) but does not generally cause pain.

Symptoms: 

  • Red and/or bleeding gums
  • Teeth appear longer than they once did due to gum recession
  • Persistent bad breath or mouth odor
  • Gums appear loose around the teeth

What if Periodontal Disease is Left Untreated?

Periodontal disease can impact both your oral and general health. There are many correlations between the health of your mouth and certain health conditions such as heart attack, stroke and diabetes. Additionally, untreated periodontal disease leads to destruction of the gums and bone that support the teeth and leads to tooth loss.

How is Periodontal Disease Treated?

The first step in treating periodontal disease is a complete exam by Dr. Ott and her hygienist. The information gathered during this exam will be used to create a personalized care plan for you. Periodontal disease can be treated through an advanced procedure known as periodontal therapy. This involves removal of plaque, bacteria and hard deposits from below the gum line. This is done with the use of local anesthetic to ensure patient comfort during the procedure. In the event that the disease has advanced beyond the point where it can be treated in the office, Dr. Ott will refer you to a Periodontist who specializes in surgical management of periodontal disease. You can feel completely confident that Dr. Ott and her team will help you every step of the way!