Periodontal disease, also known as gum disease, is a serious infection in your gums that is primarily caused by bacterial plaque that is constantly forming on your teeth. When plaque isn’t removed by brushing, flossing and regular dental cleanings, it can turn to tartar — a hard substance that can only be removed by a dentist or dental hygienist.
When left in the mouth, plaque and tartar can cause inflammation of your gums which can develop into an infection below the gum line causing the gum to separate from your teeth creating pockets that become infected and can even fill with pus. As the pockets deepen and the disease becomes more pronounced, bone and gum tissue are destroyed which can ultimately result in tooth loss. Periodontal disease is stealthy; usually giving no or very few signs of its existence. Regular dental checkups can detect periodontal disease at even its earliest stages.
Since periodontal disease is created by plaque and tartar buildup on your gums, good dental hygiene is a must in preventing gum disease. And along with good daily oral hygiene habits, regular visits to your dentist for checkups and professional cleanings will help keep your gums healthy and free of periodontal disease and infections. If gum disease is caught in the early stages, it can be treated with a procedure known as scaling and root planing. Scaling and root planing may take more than one appointment, and a local anesthetic is often used to prevent discomfort. The procedure involves scaling all plaque, bacterial toxins and tartar from the teeth and root surfaces; and then root planing, which smoothes any rough areas on the root surfaces. These smooth surfaces will help to prevent bacteria, plaque and tartar from re-adhering.
Premier Dentistry of Philadelphia has been providing quality dentistry to the city of Philadelphia for over 80 years. Dr. Shahram Shamloo and Dr. Naomi Ram are specialists in providing care to Philly-area patients. Contact us today at (215) 234-7644 to schedule your visit.