All About Periodontal Disease
Your gums are an essential part of your dental health, yet many people do not even realize they have gum disease! Our team is passionate about protecting the health of your smile at Viceroy Dental Clinic. To provide you with the essential care you need, Dr. Yoonjeong (Donatta) Ji combines experience with general dental technologies to deliver periodontal treatment and preventive maintenance.
Don't let the function, beauty, and health of your smile be damaged by periodontal disease. Schedule your therapeutic appointment with our New Westminster team today!
CALL US: (604) 544-2558 REQUEST APPOINTMENT
What Is Periodontal Disease?
Periodontal disease is an oral infection that attacks the gum tissue in your mouth, and it is the leading cause of tooth loss. Because early gum infections can be painless, you may not notice any symptoms.
Also known as gum disease, periodontal infection is caused by plaque, the sticky film of bacteria that is constantly forming on our teeth. As plaque builds up and hardens around teeth and under the gum line, it becomes tartar that causes inflammation and can lead to more serious problems.
How do I Know if I have Gum Disease?
In the earliest and most mild stages, gum disease can be painless, but there are still signs of early gum disease. Be sure to contact our team if:
- You have bleeding of the gums during brushing or flossing
- Gums remain red, swollen, inflamed, and sensitive
- You have persistent pain in your gums
- You notice a constant bad taste in your mouth or bad breath
- Your teeth appear “longer” as gums start to recede
- Loose or shifting teeth
- Formation of “pockets” between teeth and gums
How Can Oral Health Affect the Rest of My Body?
For a long-lasting smile, taking good care of your teeth and gums is essential. Keeping your smile healthy is also incredibly important for your overall well-being because your oral health and whole-body are closely linked.
There are both helpful and harmful bacteria living in your mouth. When teeth and gums aren't taken care of properly with regular dental visits, brushing, and flossing, your smile is susceptible to harmful bacteria growth in the form of plaque.
Over time, these toxic microbes can lead to gum disease. Without treatment, they can infect deep gum tissue, causing inflammation that causes gums to pull away from teeth and can lead to tooth loss.
Gum Inflammation and Whole-Body Health
Oral bacteria that infect gum tissues can enter the bloodstream and cause inflammation in other parts of the body. This inflammation can lead to complications that affect diabetes, the heart, and many other areas of the body. Heart disease, diabetes, arthritis, elevated blood pressure, low birth weight in newborns, and other conditions can have increased risks if you also have periodontal disease.
How is Periodontal Disease Treated?
After you have been diagnosed with gum disease, and depending on your stage of the condition, Dr. Ji can perform comprehensive care with surgical and non-surgical treatments.
Our Nonsurgical Gum Disease Treatments
Scaling removes tartar and bacteria from the surfaces of your teeth and under your gums. It can be done using specialized instruments, a laser, or an ultrasonic device.
Root planing can smooth the root surfaces, discouraging further tartar and bacteria build-up, and removes bacterial by-products that add to inflammation and delay gum healing. This treatment allows the gums to re-attach to the surfaces of the tooth as they heal.
Bacterial infection may be controlled by topical or oral antibiotics. Topical antibiotics may include rinses or gels applied in the space between your teeth and gums or into pockets after deep cleaning. Oral antibiotics may also be needed to help eliminate infectious bacteria.
Surgical Therapies for Periodontal Disease
If you have advanced periodontitis, surgical treatment may be the best option. Our surgical procedures include:
Pocket Reduction Surgery
Dr. Ji makes small incisions to remove excess tissue that is collecting plaque and tartar. Because periodontitis often leads to loss of bone, the underlying bone can be recontoured before the gum tissue is sutured back in location. Cleaning these regions makes it easier to maintain healthy gum tissue after you heal.
Often performed after periodontal treatments, crown lengthening reshapes the gums to ensure there is enough of the tooth structure exposed to sustain a filling or crown.
Why Continue with Periodontal Maintenance?
For patients who are prone to periodontal disease or have been previously treated for gum disease, periodontal maintenance is generally required. These visits are designed to help avoid further dental issues in the future.
Gum disease is induced by plaque-based bacteria. The bacteria's toxins attack your gums and teeth. And, unless the plaque is removed, calculus can harden and form.
Even if you are devoted to practicing excellent oral hygiene, you won’t be able to prevent the formation of calculus forming on your teeth entirely. Regular flossing and brushing will keep the calculus to a minimum, but professional maintenance is required to remove any particles that were missed. We will also check for other signs of periodontal issues during your maintenance cleaning.
How Often Do I Need Treatment?
How often you should have a periodontal maintenance visit will typically depend on the severity of your condition, the type of periodontal care you’ve had in the past, how your mouth responds to treatment, and how fast you are developing plaque. Every individual is different and caused by a variety of conditions, including genetics.
What Can I Do to Help Prevent Future Gum Disease Problems?
Below are seven tips Dr. Ji and her team recommend that could help you avoid future periodontal complications.
- Brush your teeth twice a day or, after every meal.
- Use a soft-bristled toothbrush and replace it every three to four months.
- Floss at least once daily, before bed.
- Use a mouth rinse to help reduce plaque between teeth.
- Limit surgery drinks and sticky foods high in carbohydrates.
- Avoid smoking or using tobacco products.
- Get regular professional dental cleanings, on a schedule recommended by our dentist.
Let Us Help You Achieve a Healthy Smile Once More!
Dr. Yoonjeong (Donatta) Ji and her team provide comprehensive dental care in New Westminster, BC, and surrounding areas of Burnaby and Surrey. If you think you may be experiencing symptoms of periodontal disease, contact our practice today!
CALL US: (604) 544-2558 REQUEST APPOINTMENT