Generally called gum disease, periodontitis is the leading cause of tooth loss in the world today. It is a serious infection of the gum and bone around the teeth that starts out with plaque and tartar causing inflammation.
Specific bacteria are implicated in the cause in addition with other factors like poor hygiene, smoking, chronic mouth breathing, dry mouth, genetic predilections, immune compromises, nutritional deficiencies and very crowded teeth. It often shows up with signs of: bleeding, puffy gums, bad breath, bad taste, loose teeth, longer looking teeth with gum recession and tenderness.
Once these specific bacterial colonies multiply, toxins are produced that further damage the gums and bone. It also leads to the increase in CRP, or C Reactive Protein, an inflammation marker implicated in cardiovascular diseases. These bacteria can dislodge and travel through the blood stream and lodge in different areas of the arteries and veins, eventually creating plaques that lead to heart disease and Stroke.
Gum Disease Treatment
Non Surgical: Depending on the severity of the problem, mild and moderate cases can be treated with Scaling and Root Planing and Laser therapy painlessly. Local and systemic antibiotics, prescription mouth rinses are used as an adjunct, as well as nutritional supplements and addressing other factors for the individual patient, like, correcting the crowding that makes the cleaning easier, work on quitting smoking and so on.
Surgical: Sometimes surgery is implicated to decrease the pocket depth, so they can be cleaned easily, hence preventing the harboring of bacterial colonies. Regenerative techniques are used with connective tissue grafts and bone grafts to restore the architecture of bone and gums. Dr. Sahota refers these cases to very accomplished Periodontists (Gum specialists).
Scaling and Root Planning (Deep Cleaning)
Scaling and root planning removes plaque and tartar from below your gum line. This controls the growth of harmful bacteria. Because the procedure goes deeper than a regular cleaning your mouth may be numbed. It may take 1-2 appointments to complete.
Scaling is a type of cleaning. It removes plaque and tartar from around and below the gum line.
Root Planing involves scraping and smoothing the root surfaces of your teeth. Gum tissue can more firmly reattach to roots that are clean and smooth.
Post operative discomfort is minimal and follow up is done in 4 to 6 weeks.