Every patient has their gums checked during every examination. Gum disease takes two forms: gingivitis, and periodontal disease.
Gingivitis is a reversible inflammation of the gums characterized by redness and bleeding when brushing or flossing. It is reversible (by good oral hygiene habits and professional cleanings) and does no structural damage to the gums or surrounding bone.
Periodontal disease is an inflammation of the gums that results in loss of gum attachment to the tooth and loss of bone surrounding the effected tooth or teeth. In its early forms it is reversible, however in it’s more advanced forms the damage can be permanent. Periodontal disease can be successfully treated and managed.
There are a number of factors that make some people more prone to periodontal disease:
- Genes: some people are predisposed to periodontal disease, just as some people are predisposed to high blood pressure and cholesterol. However, with good dental care and good home care (oral hygiene), the presence of the disease can be avoided.
- Medical conditions. Any medical condition that compromises the patient’s immune system will make them more prone to periodontal disease, or a more severe form. For example, uncontrolled diabetes.
- Lifestyle: Smoking reduces people’s immune system as well as peripheral circulation and therefore is a high risk factor for periodontal disease. It will not only make you more prone to the disease, but also, make the form more severe, should it occur.
However, the main aim of treatment is to remove the bacteria from the tooth and root surface and to keep it off with effective oral hygiene. This involves use of tooth brushes, and floss or inter-dental brushes.
At Clarkedental we are well equipped and trained in the treatment of periodontal disease. We also work with a network of specialists (periodontists) to best manage our patients with the disease.