Periodontics & Periodontal Disease
Periodontal (gum) disease is an infection of the tissues that hold your teeth in place.
It’s typically caused by poor brushing and flossing habits that allow plaque—a sticky film of bacteria—to build up on the teeth and harden. In advanced stages, periodontal disease can lead to sore, bleeding gums; painful chewing problems; and even tooth loss. Smoking is also a leading cause of periodontal disease.
The health of your gums and teeth is important to your overall health, well-being, and appearance. At its most serious, gum disease can cause pain, abscesses, difficulty in eating, bad breath, and a loss of teeth. It can also have a negative long-term impact on your health.
There is a strong link between gum disease and diabetes. People with diabetes are not only at greater risk of gum disease, but gum disease can also affect the severity of their diabetes, putting them more at risk of diabetic complications later on in life.
Also, several studies have shown that periodontal disease is associated with heart disease. While a cause-and-effect relationship has not yet been proven, research has indicated that periodontal disease increases the risk of heart disease.
Scientists believe that inflammation caused by periodontal disease may be responsible for the association.
Periodontal disease can also exacerbate existing heart conditions. Patients at risk for infective endocarditis may require antibiotics prior to dental procedures. Your periodontist and cardiologist will be able to determine if your heart condition requires use of antibiotics prior to dental procedures.
Our staff periodontist will typically perform a number of procedures to determine a diagnosis of periodontal disease.
The dentist will first take a medical history to reveal any past or present periodontal problems, any underlying diseases that might be contributing to the problem, and any medications the patient is taking. After noting the general state of oral hygiene, the dentist may ask about the quality of home dental care.
The dentist inspects the color and shape of gingival tissue on the cheek side and the tongue side of every tooth and compares these qualities to the healthy ideal. Redness, puffiness, and bleeding upon probing indicate inflammation. If the gum formation between teeth is blunt and not pointed, acute necrotizing periodontal disease may be indicated.
If you are concerned about the health of your gums or periodontal disease, contact Laurier Dental today.