Three out of every four Americans have some form of gum disease. Gum disease, otherwise known as periodontal disease, is an autoimmune response to specific bacteria that are anaerobic, meaning that they do not require oxygen to survive. Gum disease starts by the loss of bone around the teeth, in which the teeth become loose because there is no supportive bone in order to hold the teeth in place. This, in turn, creates pockets between the gums and the teeth in which this anaerobic bacteria will then live and allow the disease to progress. This happens when the pockets around the teeth become approximately 5mm in depth.
This disease can be passed from site to site, person to person, so it is very important that this disease be under control, to avoid passing on and having it progress to the point where it can cause irreversible damage. This is why early treatment of gum disease can help keep more progressive problems from occurring. This and the fact that studies have shown a correlation between gum disease and cardiovascular disease, premature births, and other concerns throughout one's body.
When an individual comes into 32 Dental with gum disease, we will start by treating the disease in a non-surgical format first. We will first anesthetize the patient and numb the area in order to go in and clean these pockets out to ensure there are no bacteria left. Then we will use an antimicrobial rinse on the patient, as well as provide the patient with this rinse to take home and use twice a day.
Over a period of a few weeks with proper use, we will then see the patient again to check our progress. Our hope is that after a few weeks, the pockets between the teeth and gums have reduced to a range of 2-3mm. This will help reduce inflammation and get the patient back to a dental state in which to take control of the disease and keep it from reoccurring. When this does not work, we will then complete minor periodontal surgery, in which, we will remove some tissue and do a manual pocket reduction, in order to limit the pockets of the anaerobic bacteria that is the cause of severe gum disease.