Unhealthy gums can threaten not only your dental health and the beauty of your smile, but your overall physical health as well. Plaque buildup along and below the gumline can harbor dangerous bacteria, which can negatively affect the health of the gums and lead to disease. If left untreated, serious infections can develop and gum and bone recession can occur, compromising your teeth and health. At Tropical Smiles, Dr. Schumacher is dedicated to providing top quality periodontal care to help his patients achieve and maintain healthy gums. Read on to learn more about gum disease and the many periodontal treatments we offer.
Periodontal (gum) disease is a disease of the supporting bone and gingiva that surround the tooth. It is the number one cause of tooth loss and is present in many adults. It is usually painless until it reaches advanced stages, at which point it may be too late to save the teeth. Periodontal disease is diagnosed by evaluating x-rays and measuring the sulcular depth around each tooth during oral exams. During the exam, tooth mobility is evaluated as well as health of the gums. The presence of infection and bleeding gums are indicators of this disease.
The causes of periodontal disease can be due to a number of factors, including:
- Genetic predisposition for periodontal disease
- Poor home care (thorough daily brushing and flossing)
- Lack of professional cleanings and monitoring
- Lifestyle habits such as tobacco use
The typical signs and symptoms of periodontal disease are:
- Bleeding gums
- Bad breath
- Gum recession
- Tooth mobility
- Red or purplish gum color
- Bad taste in the mouth
- Pus and discharge coming from the gums
Dr. Schumacher and his staff can address periodontal disease with proper dental procedures in addition to home care and follow-up dental care. Treatment for periodontal disease starts with the removal of all tartar (calculus) from the teeth. Once treatment is complete, you will be instructed on proper daily gum care and placed on a more frequent cleaning schedule to prevent plaque buildup and recurrence of infection.