Dental Hygiene Periodontal Dentistry

Your Dental Hygiene Periodontal Dentistry Choice for Lloydminster!

At Tooth Suite Family Dentistry, we are committed to focusing on your dental hygiene periodontal dentistry and your overall oral health. This means decreasing inflammation through periodontal dentistry. When you have active periodontal disease, routine home maintenance, and dental hygiene and cleaning is not enough, since these generally focus on the areas of the tooth that are above the gum line. Active periodontal disease and tooth decay often begin below the gum line. That is where we come in to help! A regular scaling and tooth planing procedure performed at Tooth Suite can help prevent periodontal disease.

What is Periodontal Disease?

Dental Hygiene | Tooth Suite Family Dentistry | General Dentist | Lloydminster

The word periodontal means “around the tooth.” Periodontal disease attacks the gums and the bone that support the teeth. Plaque is a sticky film of food debris, bacteria, and saliva. If plaque is not removed, it turns into calculus (tartar). When plaque and calculus are not removed, they begin to destroy the gums and bone. Periodontal disease occurs when the toxins found in plaque begin to irritate or inflame the gingiva (gum tissue). The resulting bacterial infection often known as gingivitis can eventually lead to the destruction of the gum tissue and underlying bone. Periodontal disease is characterized by red, swollen, and bleeding gums.

Four out of five people have periodontal disease and do not know it! Most people are not aware of it because the disease is usually painless in the early stages. If periodontal disease is not treated, it can lead to loose teeth or tooth loss.

Not only is periodontal disease the number one reason for tooth loss in adults, but research also suggests that there may be a link between periodontal disease and other diseases such as stroke, bacterial pneumonia, diabetes, cardiovascular disease, and increased risk during pregnancy. Researchers are determining if inflammation and bacteria associated with periodontal disease affect these systemic diseases and conditions. Smoking also increases the risk of periodontal disease.

Good oral hygiene, a balanced diet, and regular dental visits can help reduce your risk of developing periodontal disease.

Signs and symptoms of periodontal disease include:

  • Bleeding gums – Gums should never bleed, even when you brush vigorously or use dental floss. Bleeding when brushing, flossing, or eating food is one of the most common symptoms of a periodontal infection. The toxins in plaque cause a bacterial infection which makes the tissues prone to bleeding.
  • Loose teeth/change in bite pattern – Also caused by bone loss or weakened periodontal fibers (fibers that support the tooth to the bone). A sign of rapidly progressing periodontitis is the loosening or shifting of the teeth in the affected area. As the bone tissue gets destroyed, teeth that were once firmly attached to the jawbone become loose or may shift in position.
  • New spacing between teeth – Caused by bone loss.
  • Persistent bad breath – Caused by bacteria in the mouth. Although breath odor can originate from the back of the tongue, the lungs, and stomach, from the food we consume, or from tobacco use, bad breath may be caused by old food particles which sit between the teeth and underneath the gumline. The deeper gum pockets are able to house more debris and bacteria, causing a foul odor.
  • Pus around the teeth and gums – Sign that there is an infection present. Pus oozing from between the teeth is a definitive sign that a periodontal infection is in progress. The pus is a result of the body trying to fight the bacterial infection.
  • Receding gums/longer looking teeth – Loss of gum around a tooth. Periodontal disease can lead to gum recession. The toxins produced by bacteria can destroy the supporting tissue and bones, thus making the teeth look longer and the smile appears more “toothy.”
  • Red and puffy/swollen gums – Gums should never be red or swollen. A periodontal infection may be present if the gums are swollen, red, or painful for no apparent reason. It is essential to halt the progression of the infection before the gum tissue and jawbone have been affected. It is also critical to treat the infection before it is carried into the bloodstream to other areas of the body.
  • Tenderness or Discomfort – Plaque, calculus, and bacteria irritate the gums and teeth.

Dental bonding can last for upwards of fifteen years, though some patients require touch-ups to address stain accumulation along the resin’s margins. In order to ensure the longevity of your dental bonding, regular dental cleanings are recommended. It’s also important to brush regularly with a soft-bristled brush and to floss daily. Reducing sweets or starchy food can also be helpful to ensure the longevity of your dental bonding.

Types of Periodontal Disease

There are many common types of periodontal disease including aggressive, chronic, necrotizing periodontitis, and periodontitis associated with systemic diseases. Each of these types of periodontal disease has its own distinct characteristics and symptoms, and all require prompt treatment by a dentist to halt subsequent bone and tissue loss.

It is of paramount importance to halt the progression of periodontal disease before it causes further damage to the gum tissues and jawbone. The dentist will initially assess the whole mouth in order to ascertain the progress of the disease. When a diagnosis has been made, the dentist may treat the bacterial infection with antibiotics in conjunction with nonsurgical or surgical treatment or both.

In the case of moderate periodontal disease, the pockets (under the gumline) of the teeth will be completely cleared of debris using a procedure called scaling and root planing. The pockets may be filled with antibiotics to promote good healing and kill any bacteria that remain.

What are some Treatment Options for Severe Periodontitis?

  • Laser treatment – This can be used to reduce the size of the pockets between the teeth and the gums.
  • Tissue & bone grafting – Where a considerable amount of bone or gum tissue has been destroyed, the dentist may elect to graft new tissue by inserting a membrane to stimulate tissue growth.
  • Pocket elimination surgery – The dentist may choose to perform “flap surgery” to directly reduce the size of the gum pockets.

If you have any further questions about the signs and symptoms of periodontal disease, please ask your dentist.

Common Causes of Gum Disease

There are genetic and environmental factors involved in the onset of gum disease, and in many cases the risk of developing periodontitis can be significantly lowered by taking preventative measures.

Here are some of the most common causes of gum disease:

  • Poor dental hygiene – Preventing dental disease starts at home with good oral hygiene and a balanced diet. Prevention also includes regular dental visits which include exams, cleanings, and x-rays. A combination of excellent home care and professional dental care will ensure and preserve the natural dentition and supporting bony structures. When bacteria and calculus (tartar) are not removed, the gums and bone around the teeth become affected by bacteria toxins and can cause gingivitis or periodontitis, which can lead to tooth loss.
  • Tobacco use – Research has indicated that smoking and tobacco use is one of the most significant factors in the development and progression of gum disease. In addition to smokers experiencing a slower recovery and healing rate, smokers are far more likely to suffer from calculus (tartar) build-up on teeth, deep pockets in the gingival tissue, and significant bone loss.
  • Genetic predisposition – Despite practicing rigorous oral hygiene routines, as much as 30% of the population may have a strong genetic predisposition to gum disease. These individuals are six times more likely to develop periodontal disease than individuals with no genetic predisposition. Genetic tests can be used to determine susceptibility and early intervention can be performed to keep the oral cavity healthy.
  • Pregnancy and menopause – During pregnancy, regular brushing and flossing are critical. Hormonal changes experienced by the body can cause the gum tissue to become more sensitive, rendering them more susceptible to gum disease.
  • Chronic stress and poor diet – Stress lowers the ability of the immune system to fight off disease, which means bacterial infections may possibly beat the body’s defense system. Poor diet or malnutrition can also lower the body’s ability to fight periodontal infections, as well as negatively affecting the health of the gums.
  • Diabetes and underlying medical issues – Many medical conditions can intensify or accelerate the onset and progression of gum disease including respiratory disease, heart disease, arthritis, and osteoporosis. Diabetes hinders the body’s ability to utilize insulin which makes the bacterial infection in the gums more difficult to control and cure.
  • Grinding teeth – The clenching or grinding of the teeth can significantly damage the supporting tissue surrounding the teeth. Grinding one’s teeth is usually associated with a “bad bite” or the misalignment of the teeth. When an individual is suffering from gum disease, the additional destruction of gingival tissue due to grinding can accelerate the progression of the disease.
  • Medication – Many drugs including oral contraceptive pills, heart medicines, antidepressants and steroids affect the overall condition of teeth and gums; making them more susceptible to gum disease. Steroid use promotes gingival overgrowth, which makes swelling more commonplace and allows bacteria to colonize more readily in the gum tissue.

Treatment of Gum Disease

A periodontist can perform effective cleaning procedures in deep pockets such as scaling and root planing, and also prescribe antibiotic and antifungal medications to treat infection and halt the progression of the disease.

In the case of tooth loss, the periodontist is able to perform tissue grafts to promote natural tissue regeneration and insert dental implants if a tooth or several teeth are missing. Where gum recession causes a “toothy” looking smile, the periodontist can recontour the gingival tissue to create an even and aesthetically pleasing appearance.

Preventing periodontal disease is critical in preserving the natural dentition. Addressing the causes of gum disease and discussing them with your dentist will help prevent the onset, progression, and recurrence of periodontal disease.

Tooth Suite Family Dentistry, ensuring you have excellent Oral Health!

Have any questions about the causes or treatments pertaining to gum disease?
Call Tooth Suite Family Dentistry at (780) 875-4312 to
schedule your Dental Hygiene Appointment today!

Tooth Suite Family Dentistry has been proudly serving
Lloydminster for over 20 Years!

Disclaimer

Dr. Marianne Stelmaschuk, Dr. Sonia Thibault, Dr. Gladys NewLove-Heide are Lloydminster General Dentists. They are not specialists in Cosmetic or Family Dentistry. Cosmetic and Family Dentistry are not specialties recognized by the Alberta Dental Association & College (ADA&C). Our general dentists provide Cosmetic and Family Dental procedures such as Porcelain Veneers, Dental Crowns, Invisalign, and Teeth Whitening as part of their General Dentistry license. As Lloydminster Family Dentists, we provide General Dental procedures for all ages within the family. Dr. Prabhjot Singh is a licensed Oral and Maxillofacial surgeon and can offer Oral Maxillofacial specialty services as part of his license.