Gum disease, also known as periodontal disease, is an inflammatory disease which destroys your gums over time and can also result in bone loss causing your teeth to loosen or fall out.
Inflammation caused by bacterial infection is at the root of gum disease. There are other risk factors too that will increase the severity of the disease such as smoking, age, diet, stress, genetic conditions, medications and overall health.
Adults over the age of 35 lose more teeth from gum disease than from cavities.
Recent studies have shown that over 47% of American adults have mild to severe periodontitis. This rate almost doubles for those 65 and older.
Several studies have also indicated that periodontal or gum disease is connected to many other diseases such as diabetes, heart disease, and arthritis.
I am 65 years old and although I have regularly gone to a dentist since I was a very small child, my teeth were in horrible shape. I constantly had pain and my teeth were so sensitive, I had to have a topical numbing agent applied along with several shots of Novocain, just to have my teeth cleaned. After going to three different dentists, and a periodontist for decades, enduring many expensive and painful procedures, including total mouth gum surgery in which I was in a chair for over eight hours, my teeth were worse than ever. Then my periodontist recommended that I see Dr. Faist and although it may sound contrived, he dramatically improved the quality of my life. It is absolutely amazing to me how quickly, painlessly, and economically Dr. Faist repaired my mouth. I no longer have any pain or sensitivity, I get my teeth cleaned every four months by Stephanie, one of Dr. Faist’s wonderful hygienists, without any need to have my mouth numbed, and my teeth feel better and look better than they have in over 50 years! Dr. Faist and every member of his staff are very efficient, knowledgeable, down to earth, and compassionate professionals who truly care about their patients. I would not hesitate to recommend them to friends and family members and I have no intentions of ever considering anyone else for my dental care.
Both gum disease and cavities are a result of bacterial plaque.
Plaque is a colorless coating on your tooth and gum line. You cannot stop plaque from forming on your teeth and gum line. However, thorough oral care will remove plaque build up on a daily basis.
How does plaque effect your gums?
Plaque produces a toxin or bacteria which aggravates your gums causing them to swell and bleed when irritated. If this condition continues untreated your gum will actually separate from your tooth and form a pocket causing further deterioration and possible tooth loss.
Treatments to combat gum disease are diverse. They include:
- Non-surgical treatments such as root planing and scaling
- Gum graft surgery
- Laser gum treatment
- Regenerative procedures for tissue and bone
- Dental crown lengthening
- Dental implants
- Pocket reduction procedures
- Plastic surgery procedures
The most common treatment is the non-surgical treatment: root planing and scaling
This procedure is performed in Dr. Faist’s dental office in Beachwood, OH. Root planing and scaling is also the least invasive periodontal treatment available. If this type of treatment does not work effectively other forms of treatment may be needed.
Root planing and scaling is a process that cleans the root surfaces and pockets in your gums by removing the plaque and tartar build up. Additionally, the root of your tooth will be smoothed in order to remove any bacterial toxins. Often times there will be a correlated treatment with scaling and root planing including antibiotics. Ongoing maintenance is usually needed in order to continue seeing results and maintain good oral health.