Gum disease, also called periodontal disease, is a serious and prevalent condition that will affect a large percentage of people during their lifetime. It is the most common cause of tooth loss and is increasingly linked with numerous serious health problems. These problems include cardiovascular disease, stroke, diabetes, rheumatoid arthritis, and respiratory diseases.
Why is Periodontal/Gum Disease Such a Serious Problem?
One of the issues with periodontal disease is the way it is caused. The condition is created by a combination of different types of bacteria and the way these bacteria react with the body’s immune system, which is the body’s defense system.
Many of these bacteria are found in what is called the plaque biofilm, the sticky layer that builds up on tooth and gum surfaces over the day. Most often, plaque biofilm is found at the gum line, and it can quickly become a problem unless you practice good daily oral hygiene.
What Happens When You Don’t Practice Good Daily Oral Hygiene?
Without an excellent oral hygiene routine, bacteria will quickly migrate from the gums to the tooth root surfaces where they begin to calcify into a substance called calculus or tartar. The bacteria in calculus create toxins that inflame the gum tissues, gradually causing them to become ulcerated, sore, and bleeding.
This inflammatory reaction to bacteria eventually causes the destruction of the periodontal tissues around teeth. These tissues include the gums, the periodontal ligaments that hold teeth in their sockets, and the bone supporting teeth. Ultimately, teeth become loose and must be removed.
Periodontal or gum treatment is essential for halting the progression of this disease.
How Periodontal Treatment Can Help
The main aim of periodontics Yonkers is to prevent periodontal disease from progressing by controlling the cause, which is the bacterial buildup. This is achieved by periodontal therapy, where the root surfaces that are infected are cleaned and disinfected.
It is a process called scaling and root planing and which is similar to a typical hygiene treatment, but which takes things several steps further. Instead of just cleaning your teeth, exposed tooth root surfaces are cleaned or scaled.
Scaling is a process where the hardened calculus and tartar are scraped away using specialized tools. Afterward, the tooth root surfaces are slightly rougher, so they are smoothed or planed.
Smoothing the tooth roots makes it easier for the gums to reattach and harder for bacteria to stick to the smooth, clean surfaces.
This type of nonsurgical therapy is time-consuming and must often be repeated frequently to keep bacterial infections under control. Dental laser treatment is a far more advanced nonsurgical therapy that can be used as a stand-alone treatment or in conjunction with scaling and root planing, increasing its efficacy.
How Can Laser Dentistry Help?
Laser dentistry can often be far more effective compared with conventional treatments and offers several clear advantages when it comes to treating periodontal disease. The main aim of periodontal therapy is to remove the maximum number of bacteria.
A dental laser can do this far more easily because the energy produced by the laser effectively sterilizes the treatment area. Also, it can be a far more comfortable process for patients. There is less swelling, minimal damage to tissues, and less bleeding. This is because a dental laser is extremely accurate, treating only the tissues that are infected, and only removing tissues that are too badly damaged to heal.
As it removes tissue, a process called thermocoagulation occurs, where the energy of the laser seals any small blood vessels that may have been cut during the process. This helps to ensure any bleeding is minimal and that stitches aren’t required. Because the overall treatment is kinder to gum tissues, healing is faster, and the fact that a dental laser can sterilize areas reduces the risk of infection. Afterward, any discomfort during healing is reduced.
Laser dentistry is a very effective way to treat periodontal disease, but it’s just one of the procedures that may be offered to people with advanced periodontal disease. Often a periodontist will use a combination of treatments to help control advanced periodontal disease.
Laser therapy is frequently recommended as part of ongoing treatment, and yet another advantage is that usually, appointments are quicker to complete.
By removing bacteria, the body’s immune system has a far better chance of fighting back, gradually restoring gum health. Also, people who have periodontal disease will often need some help with their oral hygiene routine.
Improving Oral Care In Between Treatments
Laser therapy is very effective, but it is only part of the solution. Unless proper oral care is completed daily, periodontal disease will continue to worsen. Frequently, hygienists can work with people showing them how best to brush and floss their teeth to remove the maximum amount of bacterial biofilm each day.
It might initially seem strange to have someone show you how to brush and floss your teeth, but it can be surprisingly informative and helpful. Most people will have learned how to brush as children but have never revisited these techniques.
Learning newer or more appropriate techniques or choosing different tools to use can make all the difference in maintaining reasonably healthy gums and halting the progression of this disease.
Once the initial inflammation is controlled, a periodontist can provide more advanced treatments and which may include surgery to help the gums reattach to teeth. It is also possible to receive gum surgery that will repair and replace tissues destroyed by gum disease.
Protecting General Health
One often overlooked fact is the close connection between gum disease and other general health conditions. This means it is even more essential to look after your gum health and can protect against serious health conditions that include heart disease and diabetes. By caring for your gums, you are protecting your overall health and reducing your risk of developing serious diseases.
If you are ever concerned about your gum health or notice your gums look red, swollen or have begun to bleed when you brush or floss, don’t delay. These are the early symptoms of gum disease, and the great thing about getting a diagnosis now is that often the disease is entirely reversible.
You could only need to have your teeth professionally cleaned and to improve your oral care routine. Otherwise, you will almost certainly need more advanced treatments as gum disease will not get better on its own.
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Amelia Grant believes that information is a great force that is able to change people’s lives for the better. Check out her website and blog for more.
Author: Amelia Grant
Amelia Grant is a journalist and blogger that believes information is a great force that is able to change people’s lives for the better. She has a strong passion for sharing useful and important things about health self-care, wellness and other advice that may be helpful for people. She is an enthusiast of a healthy lifestyle. You can check out her website for daily updates at Amelia’s Blog.