Periodontal or gum disease is an infection of the gums and is a serious condition that must be treated by a skilled dental hygienist. At our Albuquerque dental office, we provide customized teeth cleanings to help you avoid gum disease and to treat it if it develops.
How Does Gum Disease Develop?
After you brush, a layer of proteins from saliva and oral bacteria form on your tooth surfaces. As more bacteria attach, a natural biofilm forms. If you remove the biofilm with proper brushing and flossing, it remains a colony of mostly harmless and even beneficial bacteria.
If you don’t brush at least twice a day, the film thickens and turns to plaque that becomes a home for harmful cavity-causing bacteria that stimulates an inflammatory response. Gums pull away from the teeth, and without early treatment, the disease progresses to periodontitis, which can cause irreversible damage to tissue and the bones that hold your teeth in place.
Eventually, teeth can loosen, and the only solution is to remove them. Over 70 percent of tooth loss is due to periodontal disease.
Why Is Gum Disease So Dangerous?
Research continues to show an association between periodontal disease and a range of other health issues. Most well-known are diabetes and heart disease, but more recent research has linked gum disease to certain forms of cancer, respiratory disease, even Alzheimer’s and pregnancy complications.
How Do You Treat Gum Disease?
Mild gum disease is called gingivitis and is reversible if treated promptly. Our hygienists will perform a thorough professional teeth cleaning and offer tips for improving your brushing and flossing skills. This step, along with conscientious at-home oral hygiene, are typically enough to eliminate gingivitis.
Advanced gum disease is treated with scaling and root planing (SRP), also referred to as deep cleaning. This treatment removes calculus and bacteria from below the gum line. This is followed by periodontal maintenance, usually at three-month intervals, to prevent bacteria from returning.
Schedule Your Next Teeth Cleaning in Albuquerque, NM
Periodontal disease often has very mild symptoms, which can lead to it being ignored. If you’re overdue for a teeth cleaning, call Blue Sky Dental to schedule an appointment.