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Periodontal Disease

What Is Periodontal Disease?

Dentist Examining Sick MouthPeriodontal disease is inflammation of the gums caused by the buildup of bacteria and tartar at and below the gum level. Symptoms can range from mild inflammation to more serious infection, which can lead to soft tissue damage and tooth loss. While brushing and flossing may be part of the daily routine, only regular dental cleanings can remove all bacteria, and tartar build-up from below the gum line.

If you have any questions about periodontal disease, please feel free to call our office at (803) 356-0700.

The Stages of Periodontal Disease

The mildest form of periodontal disease or gum disease is gingivitis. Symptoms are swollen, red gums that bleed easily without risk of tissue or bone loss around the teeth. Good oral hygiene and regular cleanings at the dental office can make all the difference in the outcome of the condition. With treatment, the condition can be healed and reversed.

Periodontitis or inflammation around the tooth is the result of gingivitis that has not been properly treated and is the most severe form of periodontal disease. It manifests as gums pull away from the teeth and forms pockets in the tissue that become infected. As the body works to fight the infection, plaque and bacteria grow and spread below the gums. Connective tissue, soft tissue and bones are broken down as the body fights the infection, which weakens support of the teeth and can lead to tooth loss.

Who Is at Risk for Periodontal Disease?

Many people do not show any sign of periodontal disease until they reach their 30s or 40s, and men are at higher risk than women. Teenagers can sometimes develop gingivitis, which can be reversed with proper dental care and hygiene. While anyone can suffer from gum disease, certain conditions can increase the risk:

  • Medications.
  • Diabetes and other types of illness.
  • Smoking.
  • Hormonal fluctuations in women and girls.
  • Genetics.

What Are Periodontal Disease Symptoms?

  • Chronic bad breath.
  • Tender gums that bleed easily.
  • Receding gum line.
  • Sensitive or loose teeth.
  • Swollen, red gums.

How Is Periodontal Disease Diagnosed?

  • The dentist or hygienist will take a medical history to check for risk factors or other causes.
  • Examine gums and check for inflammation, infection and measure any pockets observed.

What If Periodontal Disease Is Found?

  • The hygienist or dentist may take an X-ray to assess bone loss if any is suspected.
  • Refer the patient to a qualified periodontist if the case is advanced.
  • Medications can be prescribed to help fight the infection and heal the tissue.
  • Treatments vary depending on the extent of the infection; better attention to oral hygiene and dropping negative habits are usually suggested.
  • Deep cleaning and scaling may be required to remove tartar and bacteria from below the gums. It can sometimes be done with a laser.
  • Advanced cases can benefit from surgical procedures to correct damage to bone and tissue.

The easiest way to avoid periodontal disease is to brush and floss daily and to visit the dentist regularly.

If you have symptoms of periodontal disease, or need to schedule a routine visit, call our office at (803) 356-0700.

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Mon: 8am - 6pm
Tue: 7am - 2pm
Wed: 7am - 2pm
Thu: 7am - 2pm

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Address: 2441 Mineral Springs Road, Lexington, SC29072
Phone: 803-356-0700 |

Crocker Dental is NOW All Smiles Dental and still LOCALLY owned for 37 years!

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