Healthy gums are vital for oral and systemic health and enhance the appearance of your teeth, like a frame around a beautiful painting. When your gums become unhealthy, they can either recede or become swollen and red. In later stages, the supporting bone is destroyed and your teeth will shift, loosen, or fall out. These changes not only affect your ability to chew and speak. They also spoil your smile.
Periodontal diseases are ongoing infections of the gums that gradually destroy the support of your natural teeth. Periodontal disease affects one or more of the periodontal tissues: alveolar bone, periodontal ligament, cementum, or gingiva. While there are many diseases which affect the tooth-supporting structures, plaque-induced inflammatory lesions make up the majority of periodontal issues, and are divided into two categories: gingivitis and periodontitis. While gingivitis, the less serious of the diseases, may never progress into periodontitis, it always precedes periodontitis.
Dental plaque is the primary cause of gingivitis. Plaque is a sticky colorless film, composed primarily of food particles and various types of bacteria, which adhere to your teeth at and below the gum line. Plaque constantly forms on your teeth, even minutes after cleaning. Bacteria found in plaque produce toxins or poisons that irritate the gums. Gums may become inflamed, red, swollen, and bleed easily. If this irritation is prolonged, the gums separate from the teeth causing pockets (spaces) to form. If daily brushing and flossing is neglected, plaque can also harden into a rough, porous substance known as calculus (or tartar). This can occur both above and below the gum line.
If gingivitis progresses into periodontitis, the supporting gum tissue and bone that holds teeth in place deteriorates. The progressive loss of alveolar bone can lead to loosening and subsequent loss of teeth. Periodontal disease can become very serious and can affect your health and your life. 80% of Americans will be afflicted with periodontal disease by age 45, and 4 out of 5 patients with the disease are unaware they have it. It is important to maintain proper home oral care and regular dentist visits to reduce the risk of obtaining this disease.
Treatment of Periodontal Disease
Lucky for you, we are here to help you so you can have a healthy and beautiful and of which you are proud. If you are diagnosed with periodontal disease, at The Perioclinic we offer guided tissue regeneration or laser assisted regeneration.
During guided tissue regeneration, Drs. Nasr or Saenz fold back the gum tissue and remove the disease tissue and bacteria. Bone grafts, membranes (filters) and tissue-stimulating proteins can be used to encourage your body’s natural ability to regenerate bone and tissue.
Laser assisted regeneration (LANAP™ or LAR) utilizes the body’s own natural ability to “heal itself”. Performed without a scalpel and sutures, LANAP™/LAR creates an environment for regeneration of the tissues around your teeth.
A detailed homecare program, routine visits to your dentist, along with periodontal maintenance are necessary to keep your mouth healthy. We will monitor your mouth and gums for any sign of the disease to make sure that if it comes back, we catch it early so it is easier to treat.
Contact us today at (504) 831-0800 to schedule an appointment and learn how we can improve your dental health.