Periodontal Disease: A Primer on Potential Health Risks and Surgical Periodontal Treatments

Published: 17th January 2012
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An eye-catching smile is not determined only by the appearance of your teeth. The appearance and health of your gums play a crucial part in the overall appearance of your smile and your oral health. Your gums serve as a foundation of your teeth and frame your smile.
Importantly, new medical guidelines mentioned in the American Journal of Cardiology encourage dental and medical practitioners to cooperatively diagnose and to treat people, who are at risk of stroke and heart disease. As per American Academy of Dentistry, healthy gums can fend off cardiovascular disease.
Periodontal disease (gum disease) is a chronic and acute infection affecting the tissue surrounding the teeth. It is a condition in which bones surrounding teeth, deeper supporting tissue, perdontal fibers and gums become infected. If left untreated, this can develop into periodontitis, which is an advanced and destructive stage of periodontal disease. As per the Center for Disease Control gum disease is linked to many serious health ailments like heart disease, stroke, diabetes, respiratory disease and preterm birth. Around 80% of population suffers from some type of gum disease; gingivitis (mild) and periodontitis (advanced).
However, a survey conducted by the Department of Health Los Angeles have found that about 54% of adults suffer from gingivitis ,which can be treated by good home and professional teeth cleaning. Around 1 out of 10 people with gingivitis goes on to develop serious oral and overall health diseases.
The cause of gum disease is the accumulation of plaque that has bacteria in it. The plaque tends to build up in small crevices between the teeth. Even though these are just petite accumulations, the bacteria they produce can arouse inflammation in gums to occur. This in turn leads to swelling and other warning signs including receding gums. This disease can lead to tooth loss.
Symptoms of Periodontal Disease:
1.Swollen Gums
2.Painful and bleeding gums
3.Red and tender gums
Additionally, gums can become shiny with the swelling and inflammation. The gums can turn ulcerated and they bleed quite easily when you gently floss or brush them. They produce an odor too.
Gum Disease Treatment Alternatives used by Dentists in Los Angeles for Treating Deep Gum Pockets:
Regenerative Periodontal Endoscopy (RPE):
This is an advanced endoscopic technique eliminates the need of cutting the gums open. Rather, reattachment of the gum pockets is promoted with the microscopic removal of plaque and tartar (calculus) and the addition of systematic enzyme inhibitors and regenerative proteins. This procedure may eliminate the requirement for aggressive gum disease surgery; however, patients must consider close monitoring by a dentist throughout their life in case they have a history of chronic oral problems. This treatment is completed just in one appointment.

Root Planning/Deep Scaling:
This procedure is known as “the standard of care” for the first phase in treating all stages of gum disease. Root planning is usually done with local anesthetic and is generally completed by quadrants or sections. The periodontist performing this periodontal disease treatment uses either an ultrasonic scaling device or curettes (standard scaling tools), or both. The goal of this gum disease treatment is to ward off as much tartar as possible from the roots under the gum line.
Periodontal Surgery:
Following root planning, periodontal surgery might be recommended by a periodontist in attempt to wipe out periodontal pockets. The surgery is done in sections, under local anesthesia and usually with the addition of nitrous oxide or oral sedation. The three kinds of periodontal surgery performed by a dentist are Flap, Regenerative and Osseous surgery, and are aimed at removing periodontal pockets and treating periodontal disease. By far Regenerative Surgery is the most impressive surgical treatment of gum disease.
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