What is Periodontal Disease

San Diego Periodontal Disease treatment

What is Periodontal Disease

Periodontal disease is a common inflammatory condition of one’s gums and the number one cause of tooth loss in the developed world. If allowed to progress, periodontal disease can destroy the supportive bone and soft tissue surrounding one’s teeth and cause serious damage to the underlying jawbone.

periodontal-diseasePeriodontal disease is initiated by gingivitis, a non-destructive bacterial infection that results when plaque buildup settles between the teeth and gums. When plaque builds up, toxins are released, which irritate and inflame the gum tissue. As the infection settles deeper and deeper into the pockets beneath the gums, it becomes harder to reach and more difficult to treat. If the infection is allowed to fester, the infection progressively deteriorates the connective tissue that holds teeth in place, leading to tooth shifts or loss.

Types of Periodontal Disease

Periodontal disease ranges from its mildest, non-destructive form, gingivitis, to severe cases of bone degeneration, chronic inflammation, gum detachment and tissue death. The progression from gingivitis to the disease’s more destructive forms are caused by the body’s natural defenses against disease, toxins and inflammation. After the gums become inflamed, the body’s natural response to the irritation is to destroy the soft tissue and bone surrounding the infection. As a result of this destruction, teeth begin to separate from the infected gum tissue, increasing the gaps between the gums and teeth. Anyone experiencing this type of tooth separation should seek a periodontist’s care immediately, as tooth separation is a key indicator of periodontal disease.

Here are a few different types of periodontal disease patients commonly experience:

  1. Chronic periodontitis: Chronic periodontitis, the most common form of periodontal disease, is caused by tissue inflammation that can lead to deep gum pockets, gingival recession and loss of connective tissue.
  2. Aggressive periodontitis: Aggressive periodontitis is characterized by a rapid progression of periodontal disease, causing quick deterioration of the gums and bone. Aggressive periodontitis can affect an otherwise healthy patient, so anyone experiencing gum inflammation, detachment or deterioration should seek periodontal assistance at the first sign of gingivitis or periodontal disease.
  3. Necrotizing periodontitis: Necrotizing periodontitis is the death of tissue in the periodontal ligament, alveolar bone and gum tissue that occurs in those who suffer from systemic immunodeficiency conditions such as HIV, immunosuppression and malnutrition.
  4. Periodontitis caused by systemic disease: This type of periodontal disease is onset at an early age in children with existing medical conditions, like respiratory ailments, diabetes or heart disease.

Periodontal Disease Treatment

Periodontists have a variety of treatment options to choose from. The type of treatment selected will depend on the type of periodontal disease you are experiencing, the progression of the disease, and any medical conditions that may limit your treatment options. A full dental exam will be conducted first to determine the condition of your disease as well as the best treatment to use.

Here are a few of the common treatments your periodontist may employ:
  1. Scaling and root planning: Scaling and root planning involves removing bacteria and tartar from the pockets between the teeth and gums at the source of the infection to prevent further infection and protect the health of the existing gum tissue. Scaling and root planning may be supplemented with antibiotics or medical mouthwashes to aid in eliminating the infection.
  2. Tissue regeneration: Tissue grafting is one way to proactively stimulate tissue regrowth. The tissue regeneration procedure is prompted by implanting a barrier membrane into the infected area to aid in regrowth and healing.
  3. Pocket elimination surgery: This surgical treatment lessens the depth of pockets that form between the teeth and gums in order to prevent future bacterial colonization. Jawbone surgery may also be required in order to correct any bone indentations, which can also cause bacteria buildup.
  4. Dental implants: For patients who have lost their teeth due to periodontal disease, prosthetic dental implants can help restore the aesthetic and function of one’s teeth. Dental implant surgery is sometimes supplemented by tissue or bone grafting procedures in order to ensure the jawbone and surrounding tissue is stable enough for prosthetic dental implants.

If you are experiencing any warning signs or periodontal disease and want to learn more about your options, contact All on 4 Dental Implants Center for an appointment today!

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