It is one of the most common ailments facing Americans today. More than 80% of adults suffer with some form of periodontal disease by the time they are 45. One of the most dangerous things about it is that many of the early symptoms are easy to ignore. This is why 4 out of 5 people don’t realize they have the condition.
Gum disease starts when plaque remains on the teeth, hardening into tartar. Over time, tartar calcifies and a toothbrush or floss can't remove it. Unfortunately, this hardened tartar can continue to harbor bacteria. It produces enamel-eroding acids that create dental decay. Bacteria and acids then make their way underneath the gum tissue. They then form gingival pockets that hamoreional 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, it can morph into periodontal disease. It 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. Here are a few of the things that can put you at a higher risk for developing this condition.
Periodontal disease is an ongoing infection of the gums that will hurt your natural teeth. If it goes unchecked, teeth will shift, loosen, and fall out. Using one of the best periodontists in Indianapolis and Fishers is necessary for treatment.Request an Appointment
One of the biggest causes of 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. If untreated, it can lead to gum inflammation and extensive decay.
Studies show that people who have gum disease are more likely to have kids who also struggle with it. Talk with your parents, grandparents, and adult siblings to see if it runs in the family.
Certain lifestyle habits can also put you at a higher risk for developing periodontal disease. For example, 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. This is why women should take their dental health very seriously. Certain illnesses or medications that alter hormonal balances can also put you at risk. 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.
You won’t wake up with full-blown periodontitis overnight. It progresses in stages, and every stage of the illness is completely treatable. Here are the stages of gum disease and how one of the best periodontists in Indianapolis and Fishers could help you.
Early gingivitis comes with bad breath, bleeding while flossing, and red gums. During early gingivitis, the gum tissue starts to pull away from the teeth. It creates a pocket that measures between 2mm to 4mm deep.
Treatments for Gingivitis
Gingivitis is completely reversible with proper oral hygiene practices. Your Indianapolis periodontist might recommend a deep dental cleaning. Follow that with better daily hygiene to reverse inflammation and prevent dental problems.
Unfortunately, if gingivitis is untreated, it can turn into early periodontitis. The symptoms of early periodontitis include inflamed gum tissue, bad breath, and gingival pocket depths of between 4mm and 5mm.
Treatments for Early Periodontitis
To treat early periodontitis, your Indianapolis periodontist will 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. You should also come back for deep cleanings, and overhaul your daily oral hygiene routine.
Early periodontitis can turn into moderate periodontitis, where the bacteria attacks 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 an uninvasive, laser assisted procedure that zaps away bacteria in the gingival pockets. After it cleans and sanitizes the area, your Indianapolis periodontist uses special tools to resurface the teeth below the gum line, encouraging healing.
By the time patients have developed advanced periodontitis, they are living with decaying teeth that are loose, missing, or infected. Patients 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, periodontistsuse a combination of the treatments above. Besides encouraging the patient to chance their daily routine, periodontists might also recommend antibiotics to control infections and LANAP for reattachment. The best periodontists in Indianapolis and Fishers might also recommend restorative procedures such as dental implants and crowns to restore damaged teeth.
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!