Periodontal disease is an infection of the gums that gradually destroys the support structure of people’s natural teeth. The disease may cause the gums to turn red, to swell, and to bleed. As periodontal disease progresses, the supporting gum tissue and bone that holds teeth in place deteriorates. If left untreated, this leads to tooth loss. Periodontal disease is sometimes hard to recognize because pain, bleeding, and swelling are not always present, but the disease deteriorates the gum regardless of the symptoms demonstrated. Unfortunately, this disease damages the teeth, gum, and jawbone of more than 80% of Americans by age 45.
Symptoms of Periodontal Disease:
- Gums that bleed easily, such as during brushing or flossing
- Red, swollen, or tender gums
- Gums that have pulled away from the teeth
- Persistent bad breath
- Pus between the teeth and gums
- Loose or separating teeth
- Changes in how your teeth fit together when you bite
- Sometimes, the only way to detect periodontal disease is through a periodontal evaluation. A periodontal evaluation may be especially important in the following situations:
- If you have a family member with periodontal disease
- If you have heart disease, diabetes, respiratory disease, or osteoporosis
- If you feel that your teeth are too short or that your smile is too "gummy"
- If you are not satisfied with your current tooth replacement option, such as bridge or dentures, and may be interested in dental implants
- If you have a sore or mouth irritation that does not get better within two weeks
Martin Periodontics provides a variety of surgical and non-surgical treatment services. We pride ourselves on our conservative treatment recommendations and always limit the use of surgery to situations when it is absolutely necessary. Often, the early stages of periodontal disease are best treated with non-surgical periodontal therapy. Even in severe cases, non-surgical periodontal therapy often precedes surgical therapy. This is done to improve the overall tissue quality prior to surgery and also to help limit the areas requiring surgery.