Las Vegas Periodontal Disease and Gum Treatments
Las Vegas dentists understand the importance of treating periodontal disease before it places your teeth at risk of falling out. With years of training and knowledge, our dentists are fully capable of treating periodontal disease effectively. Healthy teeth and gums are an essential part of avoiding medical problems.
What Is Periodontal Disease?
Commonly referred to as gum disease, periodontal disease involves the inflammation of the gums that leads to them pulling away from the teeth.
How Does Periodontal Disease Occur?
As plaque builds up in the mouth, the gums become damaged. Plaque, a form of bacteria, grows on the surface of the teeth. If this film is allowed to remain on the teeth, it grows into colonies of bacteria after 24 hours. When this occurs, the plaque begins to mix with any starches or sugars that are present in the mouth (due to dietary intake). As a result, acids are formed in the saliva, which in turn begins to create additional irritation.
As plaque continues to remain on the teeth, it begins to harden into calculus, which is also known as tartar. As time passes, the components found in the tartar begin to break down the gums, causing them to become inflamed and to pull away from the teeth.
What Are the Symptoms of Periodontal Disease?
The signs of periodontal disease are sometimes painful and embarrassing. If you notice any of the following common symptoms of periodontal disease, you should make an appointment with your Las Vegas dentist as soon as possible.
Periodontal Disease Symptoms:
- Bleeding gums
- Reddened or inflamed gum tissue surrounding your teeth
- An unpleasant mouth odor (persistent bad breath)
- Abscesses in the gums
- Swollen gums
- Excessive amounts of calculus
- Loosening of the teeth, creating spaces
Unfortunately, periodontal disease is often present long before the symptoms become noticeable. This is partly due to the fact that until it becomes serious, this condition is relatively painless.
What Are the Causes of Periodontal Disease?
In addition to the buildup of plaque, a number of other factors can contribute to the existence of gum disease. Each of the following factors may influence the development of periodontal disease:
- Pregnancy (increased hormone levels that lead to gingivitis.
- Lack of nutrition
- Medications (steroids, cancer therapies, and oral contraceptives)
- Chemical irritants (alcohol and tobacco)
- Toxic irritants (foreign chemicals)
- Physical irritants (improper use of dental floss and picks
- Impacted food
- Disease (liver dysfunction, anemia, diabetes, leukemia, uremia, and AIDS
What Are the Risks of Not Treating Periodontal Disease?
If gum disease is left untreated, it leads to a bacterial infection that is persistent and constant in the mouth. As a result, chronic inflammation sets in, increasing the individual’s risk of heart disease. If left untreated, gum disease can lead to the degeneration of the gums as well as of the bones that support the teeth. When this occurs, the individual is at risk of losing his teeth.
What Are the Options for Las Vegas Periodontal Treatments?
Depending on the severity of your gum disease, your Las Vegas dentist may choose to provide one or more of the following gum disease treatments:
- Prophylactic Cleaning – a thorough cleaning of the gums
- Scaling and Root Planning – a dual-pronged procedure in which scaling removes the deposits of calculus from the teeth and root planning smooths out the surfaces of the roots so that the gums can reattach themselves
- Gingivectomy – a procedure to remove periodontal pockets
- Laser Therapy – a non-surgical procedure tailored to the patient’s needs
- Curettage – a procedure to eliminate the lining of the periodontal pocket
- Flap Surgery – the elimination of calculus and plaque as well as diseased gum tissue