Periodontal disease, commonly known as gum disease, is the most common adult dental affliction. About 30% of the population experiences gum disease, and it's the number one cause of tooth loss in adults. Many denture cases begin as a result of the ravages of this condition. While not curable, gum disease is controllable. Gum disease requires a focused strategy, similar to managing other chronic conditions such as high blood pressure or diabetes.
Gum disease can advance in stealth mode with few signs or symptoms in early stages. Many patients diagnosed with this condition find themselves surprised at the quiet damage progressing in their mouths. In simple terms, consider the gums and bone around your teeth as the foundation where they sit. Just like a house, the foundation must be sound regardless of the beauty of the house. When the foundation crumbles, the rest of it goes too, and this is called gum disease.
Regular dental exams, professional cleanings, and good oral hygiene practices at home are essential to detecting and strategically managing periodontal disease.
What Causes Gum Disease?
Our mouths provide a home to millions of bacteria, both beneficial and harmful. Bacteria form a sticky substance, plaque, that adheres to the teeth. Brushing and flossing aim at removing plaque before it mineralizes into tartar. Tartar becomes a colony for more bacteria and adds to their population, pumping out toxins into the gums that lead to gum disease.
Gums react to this bacterial invasion with an inflammatory response under the direction of the immune system. Around the base of each tooth, a small collar of gum tissue exists that forms a small crevice or pocket. This warm, dark environment provides a perfect habitat for deeper tartar and bacterial penetration, with their toxins seeping into the base of the collar.
Early inflammation results in bleeding gums, known as gingivitis. Bacteria left untreated and undisturbed successfully create a chronic infection in the gum collar. In many cases, the bone begins to deteriorate around the teeth as the bacteria burrow deeper into the gums. While gums may be slightly tender at this stage, there's generally minimal discomfort as the bone dissolves.
More than 50% of the bone around your teeth can disappear before any signs of looseness or pain begin to appear. The bone around teeth never regenerates, so this loss becomes permanent and harder to control as the bacteria hide deeper into the gums. Untreated gum disease leads to abscess and generalized tooth loss in many advanced cases.
gum disease Diagnosis
We draw on objective clinical data to form a gum disease diagnosis and to grade the condition. The small collar of gum around each tooth usually sits 2-3 millimeters deep, a small crevice easily cleaned by floss or toothpicks. Dr. Adatrow or our hygiene team can measure and chart multiple areas using a small measuring device. If these measurements register beyond 3 millimeters and include bleeding areas, gum disease is present. Deeper findings indicate more advanced gum disease than shallower readings.
In an effort to identify gum disease, Dr. Adatrow will also consider the texture and shape of your gums, and any movement detectable in each tooth. It's also vital to examine the levels, shape, and density of the bone around your teeth on digital x-rays. By drawing together numerous findings, a clear picture forms about your gum condition.
periodontal disease Treatments
After establishing a diagnosis defining the severity of gum disease, a personalized periodontal disease treatment plan can be developed with you. In milder forms with little or no bone loss, one or two visits with our hygiene team may bring the gum disease condition under control. When you leave our office with a strategy for daily home care and an established schedule for maintenance, little additional periodontal disease treatment may be needed.
If the inflammation has advanced with measurable bone loss, a proactive approach halting the destruction should be strongly considered. Often we will suggest gentle numbing of your gums for your comfort during the deeper cleaning process. One area at a time undergoes meticulous cleaning above and below the gum line, usually over several visits. The infected collar or pocket around each tooth, including the mineralized tartar, must be carefully cleaned out with hand and ultrasonic instruments. Polishing of the teeth to establish glassy surfaces that help repel stain and plaque accumulation usually finishes this initial therapy.
To help prevent the further advancement of periodontal disease, Dr. Adatrow may suggest a medicated rinse, an electric toothbrush, a Waterpik, or other specific strategies to help you with your ongoing efforts. Remember, gum disease can be controlled but not cured. Dedicated daily efforts must be consistent to control the disease.
When it comes to periodontal disease, Maintenance Matters
Regular home care is critical to arrest the progression of gum disease. Within a few hours of a careful cleaning, the bacteria begin to repopulate and adhere to the teeth. Plaque left undisturbed will start to harden and mineralize within 24 hours. And deeper gum pockets require even more diligence to prevent the bacteria from burrowing further into the foundation of your teeth, which leads to periodontal disease.
Since the deepest sections of gum pockets previously damaged by bacteria can be difficult to reach at home, a particular periodontal disease prevention maintenance schedule with us proves essential. We can customize your plan to include 2, 3 or 4 visits a year depending on the severity of your gum disease and its response to treatment and home care.
the periodontal disease Mouth-Body Connection
Current research continues to establish clear links between bacterial disease in your mouth and ailments in other parts of the body. Studies show a link between oral bacteria and conditions such as heart disease, stroke, arthritis, Alzheimer's, and certain types of cancers. The integration of oral and general health has never been better understood than it is currently.
Bleeding gums provide a direct pathway into the bloodstream, a journey that toxic oral bacteria can quickly take. In fact, if bleeding gums connected into one single patch, it would create a 2 x 2-inch square. If an open wound of this size existed on your skin, infection would be a concern. Bleeding, infected gums offer this open door to your body and sit saturated in colonies of bacteria. This helps explain why researchers continue to identify oral bacteria deposits in various areas of our bodies.
Diabetes and other auto-immune disorders lower the body's ability to fight infection, allowing uncontrolled gum disease to advance faster and with more destruction. Research also confirms that the inflammation in the mouth can aggravate diabetes, making it harder to control. This two-way relationship between two chronic conditions emphasizes the importance of optimal oral health to avoid more serious dangers associated with periodontal disease.
using Laser technology to treat gum disease
Laser technology continues to transform many procedures in healthcare, including periodontal disease. Once the subject of sci-fi movies, lasers now clearly provide benefits for mainstream treatment in medicine and dentistry. Shorter procedures, less discomfort, and rapid healing comprise just a few of the benefits offered by modern lasers. In dentistry, lasers simplify many surgical procedures and lead to more comfortable treatment and more predictable outcomes. Hard tissue lasers take your care one step further, eliminating aspects of dental care that produce anxiety for many patients.
If you would like to learn more about how laser technology is used to treat gum disease, contact our office.
What is periodontitis?
Periodontal disease starts as gingivitis, which is inflammation of the gums. When bacteria called plaque develops and accumulates on the teeth, it causes this inflammation. Patients rarely feel any discomfort with gingivitis. The condition is most often caused because of poor oral hygiene. Other factors that contribute to gingivitis include smoking, stress, poor nutrition, pregnancy, substance abuse, and other diseases and conditions.
If gingivitis goes untreated it can lead to periodontitis. Plaque spreads under the gum-line and grows. Plaque is full of bacteria that cause toxins. These toxins irritate the gums, causing them to become inflamed. Eventually, tissues and bone that support the teeth are destroyed. As periodontitis becomes worse with time, more bone and gum tissue are destroyed, and eventually, teeth have to be extracted.
The most common varieties of periodontitis include:
● Aggressive periodontitis – This form of periodontitis happens in patients that are otherwise quite healthy. Bone can quickly become compromised with aggressive periodontitis.
● Chronic periodontitis – This form of periodontitis causes inflammation in supporting tooth tissues and leads to rapid bone loss. This is the most common form of periodontitis and causes the gums to recede.
● Periodontitis related to systematic disease – This condition often affects young people. Conditions like diabetes and heart disease are associated with this condition.
● Necrotizing periodontal disease – This form of periodontitis is characterized by necrosis of bone, ligament, and gum tissues. Lesions appear and most often occur with patients suffering from HIV or malnutrition.
It is estimated that almost 50% of American adults have periodontitis. That equates to 64.7 million people living in the United States. If you're suffering from periodontal disease, you may not even know it. Contact us today to learn more about this disease and how we treat periodontitis.
Preventing gum disease
While gum disease is far more common than many people realize, it's a preventable condition. By taking these daily oral hygiene steps, you can prevent the onset of periodontal disease. Consider the following.
● Tooth Brushing – It is well known that routine tooth brushing prevents periodontitis. It's best to brush after meals and before going to bed. The goal is to remove food debris and plaque from between teeth and gums. Bacteria also accumulates on your tongue so it's a good idea to brush that too.
● Flossing – You should make it a habit to floss at least once per day. The goal is to remove food from between teeth and gums that cannot be removed by busing alone. Many people floss just before going to bed so that it becomes a daily habit.
● Using a mouth rinse – Mouthwash or mouth rinses are a way to remove leftover food particles and reduce plaque buildup in the mouth.
● Get routine dental treatment – Routine tooth cleanings help ensure that plaque buildup doesn't turn into gingivitis. Your dentist can also perform a comprehensive periodontal evaluation to identify your risk levels for periodontal disease. Early identification of the disease allows your dentist to take proactive measures to ensure your teeth and gums are protected.
● Understand your risk factors – There are a number of external factors that can lead to gum disease. For example, if you smoke, you are at higher risk for periodontitis than a non-smoker. Diet and genetics may also play a role in your predisposition to the disease. Talk to your dentist and make sure you understand the facts.
A few words about Memphis, Tennessee
At Advance Dental Implant and TMJ Center, we are proud to service patients in the great city of Memphis. We are lucky to live in one the most historic cities in the southern United States while enjoying a rich culture and a wide variety of landscapes. With a population around 650,000, the City of Memphis thrives with an incredible music scene and some of the nation's best barbecue.
If you suffer from gum disease, it may be impossible to enjoy a plate of Memphis-style barbecue ribs. You don't have to sacrifice your quality of life because of gum disease symptoms. Our proven gum disease treatment techniques are designed to help you live a normal life. Get the most out of your life in Memphis by talking to Dr. Adatrow about your gum disease symptoms today.
We help Germantown, Tennessee residents who suffer from gum disease
If you live in Germantown, Tennessee then you are conveniently located close to our gum disease treatment specialist. Germantown has a population of only 39,000 and is known for its many horse shows. Most of the city's growth happened in the last 50 years, and Germantown continues to thrive with a strong and robust economy.
Germantown boasts a park within walking distance of every resident and some of the state's best schools. This makes it a fantastic place to start a family and raise kids. If you suffer from gum disease symptoms, you may not be able to enjoy those special moments with your children while they play in the park. Don't let unmanageable gum disease pain dictate how you live your life. Contact Dr. Adatrow today and find out more about gum disease treatment.
Collierville, Tennessee, gum disease, and you
Residents of Collierville seeking gum disease treatment are only a short drive away from our clinic. Collierville is even smaller than Germantown, with a population of only 44,000. In 2014, Collierville was named one of the top 100 places to live in the country by Relocate America, and if you're a resident you already know why.
Many young couples live in Collierville and about half of the population has kids under the age of 18. These unique demographics continue to make Collierville a very attractive place to live for anyone seeking to start a family. Talk to us today about gum disease treatment so that you can get the most out of family life.
Gum disease treatment for residents of Cordova, Tennessee
Yet another incredible suburb of Memphis, Cordova boasts a population of about 61,000 residents and is located east of Germantown. Cordova is very proud of its railroad history and the original train 1889 station still stands today. Cordova is also one of the fastest growing neighborhoods in Memphis with plenty of opportunity for entrepreneurs.
If you love the Fourth of July, and who doesn't, then the parade in Cordova is a do-not-miss event. The parade coincides with a craft fair where locals sell their hand-crafted wares to the delight of shoppers from all over Memphis. If you live in Cordova and suffer from gum disease , you may not be able to enjoy simple pleasures like the local parade. Don't let chronic pain suck the joy out of life. Contact us today for an appointment and get the gum disease treatment you need to lead a normal life.
Information for our Mississippi patients
If you live in Mississippi towns like Southaven, Hernando, and Olive Branch, you are also conveniently located near our dental office.
Southaven is Mississippi’s third largest city while also a principal city of Greater Memphis. It’s a growing community with a fantastic mall and plenty of air traffic. It’s also the home of acclaimed novelist John Grisham.
Hernando, Mississippi is quite a bit smaller than Southaven. It’s located in DeSoto County, which is the second largest county in Memphis. The historic downtown square is quite lovely, and the entire area is well known for its blues music.
Olive Branch, Mississippi is also located in DeSoto County and considered part of the Memphis Metro area. From 1990 to 2010, Olive Branch was the fastest growing city in the country, which means it must be a pretty great place to live.
Dr. Adatrow welcomes patients from anywhere in Memphis, whether you live in Mississippi or Tennessee. Contact us today for an appointment.
Trust Advanced Dental Implant and TMJ Center
Don't let gum disease compromise your smile. At Advanced Dental Implant and TMJ Center, your smile is our number-one concern. If you have concerns about periodontal disease, talk to our dentist and get the help you need to ensure good oral health.
We cater to residents of Memphis and people living in Germantown, Cordova, and Collierville. If you would like to make an appointment, simply give us a call.