Gum disease is a progressive condition affecting the hard and soft tissues of the mouth. Caused by toxin-releasing bacteria from a buildup of plaque and tartar, gum disease begins with inflammation and infection of the gum tissue. Often categorized into three main stages, the first stage of gingivitis is commonly overlooked by patients as its symptoms are generally painless. Without treatment, gingivitis will progress into it reaches advanced periodontal disease, the most severe stage and the greatest threat to your oral and overall health. By this time, advanced periodontal diseasehas caused irreversible damage to the soft tissue and bone, leaving teeth at a significant risk of being lost. Fortunately, treatment is available that can successfully eradicate bacteria and help restore health to your gums and bone. Our skilled team of dentists is specially trained to recognize even the earliest signs of disease and recommend a treatment option based on your unique stage. In addition, if tooth loss has occurred, we provide multiple solutions at our Phoenix, AZ, office including dental implants, the “gold standard” in tooth.
Characterized by tender, swollen gums that bleed when the teeth are brushed and flossed. This is caused by toxin-releasing bacteria found in the plaque and tartar buildup on the teeth, leading to inflammation of the gum tissue. Professional deep cleanings can effectively treat this stage and halt further spread of infection.
Characterized by gums that pull away from the teeth as inflammation continues to infect the gum tissue surrounding teeth. Pockets around the teeth begin to form, creating more surface area for plaque buildup and bacteria to develop below the gumline. Toxins produced by bacterial plaque may begin break-down of the jaw bone.
Characterized by severely deep pockets around teeth and irreversible damage to the gum tissue and underlying bone. Without support structures, teeth become mobile. Pus may develop around the teeth and gums, along with chronic bad breath and a bad taste in the mouth. The risk for tooth loss is greatly increased.
Advanced periodontal disease is not simply a dental concern affecting the integrity of the teeth, gums, and bone; it has been linked to numerous systemic health issues, including diabetes, heart disease, and some types of cancer. A major concern of advanced periodontal disease is the destruction of both soft tissue and bone, which leads to an increased risk for tooth loss. In fact, advanced periodontal disease is the leading cause of tooth loss in adults, making proper and timely treatment from experienced dentists at our Phoenix, AX, office imperative to save your smile and restore oral and overall health.
The more advanced the stage of gum disease, the more aggressive the treatment measures. As the first step toward treating gum disease, non-surgical scaling and root planing “deep cleans” the teeth above and below the gum line to remove plaque and tartar buildup so there is no place for bacteria to thrive and cause infection of the gum tissue.For advanced periodontal disease, surgical intervention may be required to clean bacteria from the deep pockets around the teeth below the gum-line and smooth the damaged bone so the healthy gum tissue can reattach, reducing pocket depth and space for bacteria to colonize. After gum disease treatment, meticulous home care and regular periodontal maintenance appointments are necessary for ensuring gum disease does not return.