Periodontal disease is the infection of the structures around the teeth. “Perio” means around, and “dontal” refers to teeth, thus the name periodontal. The tissues and structures which can be affected include the gums, the cementum with covers the tooth root, the periodontal ligament, and the alveolar bone. Gingivitis is the earliest form of the disease. Gingivitis is an infection of the gums. In more advanced stages, all the supporting tissues can be involved.
One of the first signs of periodontal disease is bleeding gums when you brush. Most people think bleeding gums are normal, but they are not. Bleeding and swollen gums are a sign of a bacterial infection. The bacteria in your mouth create a sticky substance called plaque. Plaque causes inflammation of the gums and this causes them to swell and bleed. If left untreated, the infection will spread and may cause your teeth to become loose. This is a symptom of a severe case of periodontal disease.
The treatment of periodontal disease usually begins with a scaling and root planing. During scaling and root planing plaque is removed from the tooth and root surfaces. The procedure helps the gums heal and periodontal pockets to shrink. Your dentist will check the pockets at your next visit to be sure they are shrinking. If not and bone is lost, you may need surgery and be referred to a periodontist. You may wear bite guards, splints, or other appliances to help stabilize loose teeth and help tissue regeneration.
If your gums bleed when you brush or floss them, call or contact us today and ask about periodontal treatment.