Gum Disease Treatment
Gum Disease – Common, Painless, and Destructive
At Hakala Family Dentistry, we treat gum disease every day. Dr. Kate received her Bachelor's in Dental Hygiene from CU and worked for several periodontists or "gum specialists" before going to dental school. Suzi, our hygienist, has also received extensive training in the treatment of gum issues. While we do not do periodontal surgeries such as gum grafts and bone grafts, we do a lot of deep cleanings for tartar removal and help patients maintain their periodontal condition to prevent further damage.
According to the CDC (Centers for Disease Control and Prevention), 47 percent of adults over the age of 30 in the United States have some form of periodontal or "gum" disease. What does this mean? It means that most adults have at least one area where the soft tissue around a tooth is chronically irritated and causing the bone that holds the tooth in the jaw to break down slowly.
What Causes Gum Disease?
Tartar or "calculus" buildup on the root of a tooth irritates the gums, just like a splinter irritates the skin around it. The irritation, called gingivitis, triggers a response of the body to get rid of the "splinter,” which can lead to tooth loss.
Gum bleeding, bad breath, and wiggly teeth are all signs of periodontal disease. Gum disease also affects the health of your heart and can increase the risk of getting pneumonia from respiratory infections because the bacteria in your mouth can be quite toxic.
Gum disease has many causes, including genetic predisposition, smoking, health issues, such as diabetes, and buildup of plaque and tartar from poor oral hygiene.
While we can't control all of these causes, we can help our patients with oral hygiene and with the removal of tartar, or "calculus," and with instructions on how to keep your mouth in better shape.
Some people would prefer to skip the process of dental cleanings and just have fillings and crowns done. We understand this. But to us, that is like adding to a house that has a poor foundation that will break down with time.
No one would want to spend money fixing up a house with a termite problem, and we don't want our patients to invest in dentistry on teeth suffering from gum disease.
Because periodontal disease is so common, and treatment of it is so important, there is actually a dental specialty called periodontics. "Perio" comes from the Latin word for "around," and of course, "dontal" refers to teeth, so periodontal care is for the tissues around the tooth, which are the gums and the jaw bone. A periodontist is someone who has gone through four years of dental school, and then another 2-3 years to get a Master’s Degree in Periodontics.
Hakala Family Dentistry works with several talented periodontists in the Denver area, and we refer our patients to them when we feel it is necessary.
For more information about gum disease, please click on the link.
Schedule your appointment for a dental cleaning and periodontal evaluation today!