According to the Canadian Dental Association, seven out of ten Canadians have periodontal disease.
What Peridontal disease is
Gum disease, or periodontal disease, is an illness that causes your gum tissue to become inflamed. If your gums are swollen, or bleed when you brush or floss your teeth, you may have periodontal disease.
There are two stages of periodontal disease:
- Gingivitis, which can be reversed through regular cleanings and good oral hygiene
- Periodontitis, which requires medical intervention to treat. It can lead to bone loss and lost teeth
In the world of periodontal disease, an ounce of prevention is worth a pound of cure. Gingivitis is much easier to treat than periodontitis. If you notice that you’re showing the signs or symptoms of early periodontal disease (which you can read below), you should call us right away.
We’ll perform a thorough dental exam to determine the extent of the damage caused by periodontal disease.
We can treat gingivitis by gently and rigorously cleaning your teeth. This will include a deep, below-the-gum cleaning where necessary.
If your gum disease has developed further, and you’re at risk of losing bone structure or teeth, we may refer you to a periodontist for periodontal treatment.
A variety of different symptoms can present themselves when you have gum disease. That makes gum disease easy to detect – if you know what you’re looking for!
When you come into our clinic, we’ll evaluate the health of your gums, determine whether or not you have gum disease, and create a treatment plan. You should regularly visit our clinic for a dental cleaning twice a year (in most cases), or if you see any of the following symptoms:
- Bleeding gums when you brush or floss
- Swollen, red gums
- Tooth mobility
- Sore gums
- Bad taste in your mouth
- Bad breath
- Bone loss
Almost all periodontal disease has the same root cause: dental plaque.
That’s one of the reasons oral hygiene is so important. By brushing and flossing your teeth, you can get rid of dental plaque and reduce your risk of developing periodontal disease.
Plaque is a sticky film of bacteria that live on your teeth. Brushing and flossing can help remove this film, but it can build up quickly. When a lot of plaque builds up, it hardens into tartar, and can’t be removed through brushing and flossing.
Sometimes, plaque hardens into tartar in and around your gum line. The bacteria then begin to cause inflammation in your gums – this is the first stage of periodontal disease – gingivitis.
Eventually, this inflammation leads to pockets of bacteria. When these pockets become deep enough, the bacteria begin to threaten the health of your jawbone, tissues, and teeth. This is the second stage of periodontal disease – periodontitis.
We can perform a diagnostic test in our dental office. We will determine the health of your gums using a measuring device that will measure the millimetres between your gums and teeth. Pocketing in your gums allow bacteria to collect.
We will also use x-rays to determine the density of your bone. If you have bone loss, our x-rays will help us diagnose it.
The following factors put you at greater risk of developing periodontal disease:
- A weakened immune system, caused by certain medications (and certain other medical treatments) or certain illnesses
- Certain diseases, such as diabetes, rheumatoid arthritis, and Crohn’s disease
- Some medications
- Hormonal changes
- Recreational drug use – especially smoking and vaping
- Smoking or chewing tobacco
- Vitamin C deficiency (and other specific vitamin deficiencies)
You’re also at greater risk of periodontal disease if you have poor or underdeveloped oral health habits.
If you have any of the risk factors we listed above, get in touch with us. We can help you with all of these risk factors, provide you with resources, and refer you to other medical professionals when necessary.
By changing your habits, you can reduce your risk of developing gum disease. Keep your gums healthy, and stave off infection, tooth loss, and other complications caused by periodontitis!
Treatment for Periodontal Disease
Treatment for gingivitis is straightforward: our dental hygienists will clean your teeth. By eliminating tartar and plaque, we can stop bacteria from triggering an inflammatory response. This means your gums can start to heal.
Book an Appointment Today
Periodontal disease is easy to treat – if you catch it early.
Our dentists and dental hygienists can diagnose and treat periodontal illness. We’ve created an environment of care and comfort – our cleaning services will be thorough, but gentle. This ensures that we’ll get every last speck of tartar, allowing your gums to heal.
So if you’re tired of living with sore, bleeding gums, and you want to take charge of your oral health before your symptoms get worse, book an appointment today.
Our university of alberta dental clinic is currently accepting new patients. We look forward to meeting you!