What Is Periodontal Disease?
Periodontal disease (or gum disease) is essentially a pathological inflammatory condition of the gum and bone support surrounding your teeth. It takes a variety of forms, and each can have devastating effects on your health.
- Gingivitis is the most common and mildest form of periodontitis. There are toxins in plaque, and the buildup of those toxins can lead to gum disease. Various medications such as birth control pills, blood pressure medicine, and anti-seizure medications as well as pregnancy and uncontrolled diabetes all increase an individual’s risk of gingivitis.
- Chronic – inflammation below the gum line and progressive destruction of gingival and bone tissue. A very common form, especially in people over 45.
- Aggressive – the rapid loss of gum attachment and bone tissue. Common in smokers and those with a family history of the disease.
- Related to Systemic Condition – can be a symptom of another condition affecting the rest of the body. Medical conditions such as heart disease, diabetes, and respiratory disease are common contributors to increased periodontitis.
- Necrotizing – a rapidly progressing form of periodontitis which results in tissue death and affects the periodontal ligament, gingival tissues, and alveolar bone. Prevalent in those who suffer from HIV, immunosuppression, malnutrition, or chronic stress, and smokers.
Treatment and Prevention
The most important method of achieving good oral health is to have an excellent oral hygiene regimen followed every day. Brushing and flossing is the best preventative measure for keeping gum disease at bay. Another method of gum disease prevention is to visit your dentist at least twice per year so that scaling and debridement can be used to clean below the gumline. Depending on the level of plaque buildup, this number could increase to stave off the onset of periodontal disease.
There are also a number of medicated mouthwashes and antibiotics that can be used to control bacteria and reduce periodontal pocket size. Dr. Joshua Ignatowicz will be able to recommend the right treatment for your oral health condition. If gum disease prevention tactics have not worked or have been neglected, surgical intervention may be needed. This can include flap surgery to remove buildup in the deep periodontal pockets and to reduce the pocket size or bone and tissue grafts to assist with bone/tissue regeneration.
Preventative Care Reduces the Risk
No one wants to undergo surgery or other advanced and painful treatments for gum disease. At the Henderson dental offices of Dr. Joshua Ignatowicz, he and his staff recommend preventative dental maintenance to reduce your risk. Contact us today to set up an appointment for a dental cleaning and to talk about other gum disease prevention methods!