Gum disease is one of the most common ailments facing Americans today, with more than 80% of adults suffering with some form of periodontal disease by the time they are 45. One of the most dangerous things about gum disease is that many of the early symptoms are easy to ignore, which is why 4 out of 5 people don’t realize they have the condition.
Gum disease starts when plaque remains on the teeth, eventually hardening into tartar. Over time, tartar calcifies and can’t be removed with a toothbrush or floss. Unfortunately, this hardened tartar can continue to harbor bacteria, which produces enamel-eroding acids that create dental decay. Eventually, bacteria and acids make their way underneath the gum tissue, where they form gingival pockets that harbor additional food particles and bacteria. These bacteria also create toxins as they grow, inflaming gum tissue and causing the gums to pull away from the teeth.
Eventually, gum disease can morph into periodontal disease, and the condition can even start to destroy the underlying ligaments and bone tissue that holds the teeth in place. The result is infections, loose or missing teeth, and even a changing face shape.
Fortunately, researchers have uncovered many of the causes of gum disease. Here are just a few of the things that can put you at a higher risk for developing this condition.
Gum disease is an ongoing infection of the gums that will gradually your natural teeth. If gum disease goes unchecked, teeth will shift, loosen, and fall out. Using a periodontist in Indianapolis and Fishers Is necessary for gum disease treatment. Please give us a call today.Request an Appointment
One of the biggest causes of gum disease and periodontal disease is poor oral hygiene. When you fail to brush, floss, rinse, and attend dental checkups, oral bacteria can run rampant in your mouth, inflaming gum tissue and causing extensive decay.
Studies have shown that people who have gum disease are more likely to have kids who also struggle with gum disease. Talk with your parents, grandparents, and adult siblings to see if they struggle with gum disease.
Certain lifestyle habits can also put you at a higher risk for developing gum disease. For examples, smoking, using chewing tobacco, or eating lots of starchy or sugary foods could make it easier for oral bacteria to grow. Parents who share eating utensils or straws can also spread oral bacteria to children, putting them at a higher risk for gingivitis.
Hormonal changes during pregnancy can cause gingivitis, which is why women should take their dental health very seriously. Certain illnesses or medications that alter hormonal balances have also been shown to be linked to gum disease. For example, since diabetics tend to have saliva that is higher in sugar, they are more likely to develop gum disease than people who don’t live with the condition.
Fortunately, you won’t wake up with full-blown periodontitis overnight. Gum disease progresses in stages, and every stage of the illness is completely treatable. Here are the stages of gum disease and how your periodontist in Indianapolis and Fishers could help you.
Early gingivitis is marked by bad breath, bleeding while flossing, and gums that are reddened or irritated. During early gingivitis, the gum tissue starts to pull away from the teeth slightly, creating a pocket that measures between 2mm to 4mm deep using a periodontal probe.
Treatments for Gingivitis
Fortunately, gingivitis is completely reversible with proper oral hygiene practices. Your periodontist might recommend a deep dental cleaning, followed by better daily hygiene to reverse inflammation and prevent worsening dental problems.
Unfortunately, if gingivitis is left untreated, it can turn into early periodontitis. The symptoms of early periodontitis include visibly inflamed gum tissue, worsening bad breath, and gingival pocket depths of between 4mm and 5mm.
Treatments for Early Periodontitis
To treat early periodontitis, your Indianapolis periodontist will perform deep cleanings to remove surface bacteria and tartar. These treatments include scaling and planing, which helps to scrape away tartar from the teeth and from below the gumline. Your periodontist might also recommend antibiotics to treat underlying infections, returning more frequently for deep cleanings, and overhauling your daily oral hygiene routine.
Unfortunately, early periodontitis can turn into moderate periodontitis, where the bacteria begin to attack underlying bone tissue. At this stage, the gingival pockets are as deep as 6mm to 7mm deep, creating loosened teeth, bad breath, and infections.
Treatments for Moderate Periodontitis
To resolve moderate periodontitis, periodontists might recommend advanced treatments such as LANAP. LANAP, which stands for Laser Assisted New Attachment Procedure, is a minimally invasive, laser assisted procedure that zaps away bacteria from within the gingival pockets. After the area is cleaned and sanitized, special tools are used to resurface the teeth below the gum line, encouraging healing.
By the time patients have developed advanced periodontitis, they are living with severely decaying teeth that are loose, missing, or infected. Patients typically report dental pain, extreme sensitivity, or visible infections. Patients with advanced periodontitis have gingival pocket depths of more than 7mm.
Treatments for Advanced Periodontitis
To treat advanced periodontitis, periodontists typically use a combination of the aforementioned treatments. In addition to encouraging the patient to chance their daily routine, periodontists might also recommend antibiotics to control infections and LANAP to encourage reattachment. Furthermore, periodontists in Indianapolis and Fishers might also recommend restorative procedures such as dental implants and crowns to restore teeth that have been damaged.
If you suspect that you have gum disease, make an appointment at Indy Implants today. Serving both Indianapolis and Fishers, your periodontist will help you restore your beautiful smile!