You may have heard of periodontal disease simply referred to as “gum disease”. You may also have heard it called “gingivitis” or “periodontitis”. Let’s clear up some confusion.
As any Rigby dentist can attest, plaque is the root cause of almost every dental problem, and in periodontal disease, it’s the main culprit as well.
Plaque is acidic and full of bacteria. As it is left to fester at the gumline, the body begins to interpret it as an infection and thus releases a hormone that causes the gums to become inflamed. (Inflammation is one of the many self-defense mechanisms your body has against infection and damage.)
The early stage of periodontal disease, gingivitis, is reversible – but you need to act fast. The first step is recognizing it. Symptoms of gingivitis include:
Your Rigby dentist can perform a number of periodontal disease treatments to reverse the problem. Often this involves a process called “scaling” in which the dentist clears away plaque and tartar (plaque that has solidified into a hard crust) from the gums. Dental cleanings are also performed, and your dentist will probably schedule some follow-up appointments
Gingivitis, if left unchecked, will eventually progress into the advanced stage of periodontal disease called periodontitis. Unlike gingivitis, periodontitis is irreversible, but that doesn’t mean there aren’t treatment options available to help keep it in check.
Symptoms of periodontitis include:
Periodontitis treatment generally requires surgical treatments such as:
Your Rigby dentist may refer you to a licensed periodontist.
The simple answer is to maintain healthy brushing and flossing habits. Commit to brushing your teeth twice a day – once in the morning and once at night – every day for the rest of your life.
Periodontal disease happens due to plaque build-up. Don’t let this happen. Maintain good oral hygiene habits and schedule regular appointments with your Rigby dentist.