Gum Treatment and Hygiene
Gum Treatment (Periodontal Treatment) and Hygiene
The word “periodontal” means “around the tooth” Gum disease or periodontal disease is a bacterial infection of the gums that destroy the supporting ligaments and bone that hold your teeth in place. Periodontal disease can affect one or many teeth.
The main cause of this disease is the bacteria filled sticky substance called plaque. If the plaque is not removed, it can form into a substance called tartar or calculus. Tartar is so hard it can only be removed by an oral health professional, such as a dentist or dental hygienist. The bacteria in plaque and tartar infect the gums, and cause redness and inflammation (irritation). This inflammation causes destruction of the tissues that support the teeth, including the bone. When this happens, the gums separate from the teeth, forming pockets that fill with even more plaque leading to further bone loss and eventually tooth loss.
Periodontal diseases are characterized by bad breath, bleeding, swollen or painful gums, and looseness or drifting of teeth.
The goal of all periodontal therapy is the elimination of active infection and to provide healthy gums that the patient can keep clean with proper brushing and flossing techniques. Early diagnosis and intervention is imperative for predictable treatment of periodontal disease.