Among the causes for periodontal (gum) disease are genetic susceptibility, smoking, and other illnesses like diabetes. Periodontal maintenance involves removing plaque and tartar from above and below the gum line. Most gum diseases are preventable with proper oral hygiene. However, what can start out as gingivitis (inflamed or bleeding gums) can quickly turn into periodontitis. In such cases, gums pull away from the tooth to create “pockets,” thereby exposing a dental root to infection. It can also lead to prolonged bad breath, loose teeth, painful chewing and other complications.
Diagnosing Gum Disease
The diagnosis of Gum disease includes a number of aspects such as pocket depths around your teeth, percentage of bleeding when the dentist probes the deep pockets around the teeth, and bone and attachement loss. These measurements help the dentist determine if the condition is gingivitis, slight periodontitis, moderate periodontitis or severe periodontitis.
In some circumstances when you have deep pockets your dentist may recommend scaling and root planning (SRP), otherwise known as a deep cleaning. Surgery may be recommended to remove particularly deep pockets that will not resolve with non-surgical means.