Gum Disease and How to Fight it!
We normally have a high amount of different types of bacteria living in our mouths.
Most of these bacteria are controlled by the enzymes in our saliva and stomach and
are there to defend us from the invasion of bad bacteria, viruses, fungi, and protozoa.
Bad bacteria can endanger our oral health and cause tooth decay and cavities. We fight these bacteria with good daily oral care which
includes brushing and flossing at least twice a day.
The problem arises when these bacteria continue to grow in our mouth without a treatment
that helps getting rid of it.
What is periodontal (gum) disease and what causes it?
As bacteria reproduces in our mouth, it clings to the teeth forming a sticky, colorless
film called dental plaque. If this plaque is not removed within 48 hours,
it hardens into a rough deposit called “tartar” which can only be removed
by a dental hygienist.
When tartar develops along the gum line, it produces toxins that injure the gum
and cause inflammation while infecting the supporting tissue that holds our teeth.
Because gum disease begins without pain,
you may not even be aware that a problem exists. Our dentist near Burbank offers
professional cleaning services to help you avoid this problem.
Causes and risk factors:
- Poor oral care. Not brushing and flossing at least twice a day, and avoiding
the use of a fluoride mouth rinse
- Smoking. Because of a lower oxygen level in the mouth, smokers are 2 to 7
times more likely to develop gum disease than non-smokers.
- Diabetes. It worsens periodontal disease
when it is poorly controlled.
- Stress. Our bodies become weaker at fighting infection under stress.
- Medications. Some drugs for depression, seizures, cancer and blood pressure
lessen the flow of saliva which protects teeth and gums.
What are the symptoms?
Gingivitis. This is the mildest form of gum disease and is caused by inadequate
oral care. Gingivitis affects the gums, making them red, swollen and prone
to bleeding easily. It causes bad breath or a bad taste in the mouth. It is reversible
with professional treatment and proper oral care at home or at our Burbank dentistry.
Periodontitis. When gingivitis is left untreated it can advance to periodontitis. Here, plaque spreads and grows below the gum line and
the tissues and bones supporting the teeth are broken and destroyed. As the disease
worsens, the gums are pulled away from the teeth and form pockets (spaces between
teeth and gum) which become infected. Finally, the teeth become loose and have to
- Continuous bad breath
- Red or swollen gums
- Tender or bleeding gums
- Tongue that is swollen or
pushing back from the floor of the mouth
- Pain when chewing
- Loose teeth
- Sensitive teeth
- Swelling below the chin, making it
red, tender and warm
CYBERDENT offers the best quality treatment for you!
If you notice any of the signs or symptoms listed above, come and see our specialized dentists at our convenient locations near Burbank.
A series of tests and exams will let us know if you have gum disease:
- We'll ask about your medical history to identify any risk factors present.
- We'll examine your gums, for signs of inflammation.
- With a tiny ruler or “probe” we'll measure the depth of the pocket between your
teeth and gums.
- An x-ray may be taken to evaluate
the teeth and the supporting bones holding them.
What is the treatment for periodontal disease?
If a periodontal disease is identified,
depending on the extent, it could be treated by:
- Scaling and root planing (deep cleaning). Scaling scrapes off the
tartar from above and below the gum line. Root planing clears any rough spots on
the tooth root where bacteria accumulate to help get rid of it. Here, the gums are
re-attached to the teeth.
- If the patient has only gingivitis or mild gum disease, an effective mouth
rinse may be prescribed, along with antibiotic gels and microspheres
that help control and kill bacteria.
- However, if pockets are still present after scaling and root planing and the disease
has destroyed bones and connective tissue, surgery may be required. We will discuss all the details and concerns
with the patient.
Because periodontal disease typically occurs
in people after they reach 30, it is important to prevent it early by practicing
a good oral hygiene at all times. This includes brushing and flossing twice
a day, using a mouthwash and a fluoride toothpaste, and replacing your toothbrush
every three months. Maintaining a balanced diet with few sugars is a plus!
Our dentists near Burbank offer preventive dentistry,
and dental sealants, to
avoid tooth decay and gum disease. You don’t have to suffer the consequences of
a periodontal disease. With proper care, your natural and beautiful smile will
last a lifetime!