What is periodontal disease?
Periodontal disease is a common infection of the gums and jaw bone that surround the teeth. If left untreated, it can lead to tooth loss and can affect your overall health. Periodontal therapy can greatly improve gum health, to help save your natural teeth and avoid contributing to systemic disease.
Warning signs of gum disease:
- Gums that bleed during and after brushing or flossing
- Persistent bad breath and/or bad taste in the mouth
- Red, swollen or sore gums
- Receding gums
- Loose teeth or widening gaps between teeth
Periodontal or gum disease occurs when oral bacteria get below the gum line and your body reacts to this bacteria in a destructive way, creating inflammation.
If you have gum disease, brushing and flossing are not enough. Your dentist/hygienist must remove the plaque (bacterial biofilm) and calculus (hardened plaque) from below the gums. This is often referred to as a deep cleaning or scaling and root planing and may need to be performed on a regular schedule. If the space below the gum line that harbors bacteria is too great, surgical treatment can help.
Certain factors increase your risk for gum disease:
- Current or former smoker
- Family history of gum disease
- Excessive stress
- Taking steroids, blood pressure medications or cancer fighting medications
Having periodontal disease can increase your risk for other health problems as well. The good news is that treating gum disease in the early stages can stop progression of the disease with minimal treatment.
What is a periodontist?
Dr. Michael Spektor is a periodontist, a dentist specially trained to treat gum diseases and other disorders of the tissues surrounding your teeth. He can also replace missing teeth with implants, and aid the general dentist and orthodontist with cosmetic gum tissue treatment that can help improve your smile while keeping it healthy. If your dentist advises periodontal therapy, ask for a referral to Dr. Michael Spektor.
Schedule your periodontal consultation with Dr. Michael Spektor today at (425) 454-1322.