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Periodontal Disease Treatment

Periodontal Care

Periodontal treatment is necessary when various conditions affect the health of your gums and the regions of your jawbone that hold your teeth in place. Retaining your teeth is directly dependent on proper periodontal care and maintenance. Healthy gums enhance the appearance of your teeth, like a frame around a beautiful painting. When your gums become unhealthy, they can either recede or become swollen and red. In later stages, the supporting bone is destroyed and your teeth will shift, loosen, or fall out. These changes not only affect your ability to chew and speak, they also spoil your smile.

Periodontal Disease

Periodontal diseases are infections of the gums that gradually destroy the support of your natural teeth. Dental plaque is the primary cause of gum disease. Bacteria found in plaque produce poisons that irritate the gums and break down tissue fibers. They cause them to turn red, swell, and bleed easily. If this irritation is prolonged, the gums separate from the teeth causing pockets (spaces) to form. Plaque can also harden into a rough, porous substance known as calculus (or tartar). This can occur both above and below the gum line. Calculus is very hard and can only be removed by a dentist or hygienist. As periodontal diseases progress, the supporting gum tissue and bone that holds teeth in place deteriorate. If left untreated, this leads to tooth loss. However, don’t be fooled. With periodontal disease, bleeding, redness, and swelling do not have to be present. Further, pain is usually not associated with periodontal disease. Periodontal disease damages the teeth, gum, and jawbone of more than 80 percent of Indians by age 50. Recent research has shown a two-way relationship of periodontal disease with heart disease, diabetes and smoking.

Periodontal Disease & Tobacco/Smoking

You are probably familiar with the links between tobacco use and lung disease, cancer, and heart disease. Current studies have now linked periodontal disease with tobacco usage. These cases may be even more severe than those of non-users of tobacco. There is a greater incidence of calculus formation on teeth, deeper pockets between gums and teeth as well as greater loss of the bone and fibers that hold teeth in your mouth. Chemicals in tobacco such as nicotine and tar slow down healing and reduce the success of following periodontal treatment.

Diabetes & Oral Health

Individuals suffering from diabetes, especially uncontrolled diabetics, have a higher risk of developing bacterial infections of the mouth. These infections may impair your ability to process insulin, resulting in greater difficulty with controlling your diabetes. Periodontal diseases will be more severe than those of a non-diabetic and treatment more difficult. However, well-controlled diabetics have a lower incidence of cavities. Steps to prevent periodontal disease include daily brushing and flossing to remove plaque from your teeth and gums, regular dental visits for professional cleaning, and regular periodontal evaluation. Your health professional must also be told of your history and the current status of your condition. And finally, you can help resist periodontal infection by maintaining control of your blood sugar levels. Additional information on periodontitis and its effects on the rest of the body can be found at