Periodontal disease can increase the risk of tooth loss, and left untreated, can even increase the risk of heart disease and stroke. Leading dentist Dr. Joseph E. Frew provides expert treatment for periodontal disease at his state-of-the art office in Silver Spring, Maryland.
Periodontal Disease Q & A
What is periodontal disease?
Periodontal disease is an infection and inflammation of the gums that can cause pain and bleeding. Left untreated periodontal disease can lead to tooth loss and degeneration of the underlying jaw bone. Dr. Frew provides advanced and effective treatment of periodontal disease to prevent these and other complications.
What are the signs of periodontal disease?
The signs include: gum inflammation or swelling, redness, and gums that bleed easily, such as when brushed. When this inflammation isn’t treated, it can turn into periodontitis, or inflammation surrounding the teeth. The signs of advanced periodontal disease include: pain when chewing, loose teeth, receding gums, and persistent bad breath. Some individuals with periodontal disease also experience increased tooth sensitivity, which causes discomfort when teeth are exposed to heat and/or cold.
What causes periodontal disease?
Bacteria that build up on the teeth and form plaque is the main cause of periodontal disease. These bacteria feed on sugars on the teeth and mix with different particles to form plaque. When plaque stays on the teeth, it becomes hard and creates tartar. This can lead to gum inflammation as these bacteria invade the gums. When gum inflammation advances to periodontitis, bacteria spread under the gum line and attack bone and tissue.
How is periodontal disease treated?
Treatment options for periodontal disease focus on managing the infection and relieving symptoms. Non-surgical treatment options include scaling and root planing, which are deep cleaning techniques that remove plaque and tartar, and antibiotic medications that control infections, such as Arestin. Other options include periodontal splinting, which involves joining weaker teeth together to create stronger ones. Surgical options include crown lengthening, flap surgery, and bone and tissue grafts.
How can I prevent periodontal disease?
One of the most effective ways to lower the risk of periodontal disease is having a professional teeth cleaning twice a year to remove tartar and plaque, and keep the gums clean. Another essential preventative measure is practicing good oral hygiene, which means brushing twice a day, and flossing at least once a day to remove bacteria and prevent the buildup of plaque.