Gum Disease Laser Therapy − Silver Spring MD
The term “periodontal” means “around the tooth”.
What is Periodontal Disease?
Periodontal disease (also known as periodontitis and gum disease) is a common inflammatory condition which affects the supporting and surrounding soft tissues of the tooth; also the jawbone itself when in its most advanced stages.
Periodontal disease is most often preceded by gingivitis which is a bacterial infection of the gum tissue. A bacterial infection affects the gums when the toxins contained in plaque begin to irritate and inflame the gum tissues. Once this bacterial infection colonizes in the gum pockets between the teeth, it becomes much more difficult to remove and treat.
Other Health Problems
In recent years, gum disease has been linked to other health problems. This is a new and exciting area of research. Studies have produced varying answers about how much of a connection exists between gum disease and other medical problems. More research is needed. Researchers are studying possible connections between gum disease and:
- Atherosclerosis and heart disease— Gum disease may increase the risk of clogged arteries and heart disease. It also is believed to worsen existing heart disease
- Stroke— Gum disease may increase the risk of the type of stroke that is caused by blocked arteries
- Premature births— A woman who has gum disease during pregnancy may be more likely to deliver her baby too early. The infant may be more likely to be of low birth weight.
- Diabetes— Diabetic patients with periodontal disease may have more trouble controlling their blood sugar than diabetic patients with healthy gum
- Respiratory disease— Bacteria involved in gum disease may cause lung infections or worsen existing lung conditions. This is particularly important for elderly adults in institutions such as nursing homes. In this group, bacteria from the mouth may reach the lungs and may cause severe pneumonia
Periodontal disease is the leading cause of tooth loss among adults in the developed world and co-factors should always be promptly treated.
Treatment for Periodontal Disease
There are many surgical and nonsurgical treatments such as Laser Gum Therapy to treat Periodontal Disease. Dr. Tekle may choose to perform or recommend a periodontist to perform, depending upon the exact condition of the teeth, gums and jawbone. A complete periodontal exam of the mouth will be done before any treatment is performed or recommended
Types of Periodontal Disease
When left untreated, gingivitis (mild gum inflammation) can spread to below the gum line. When the gums become irritated by the toxins contained in plaque, a chronic inflammatory response causes the body to break down and destroy its own bone and soft tissue. There may be little or no symptoms as periodontal disease causes the teeth to separate from the infected gum tissue. Deepening pockets between the gums and teeth are generally indicative that soft tissue and bone is being destroyed by periodontal disease.
Here are some of the most common types of periodontal disease:
- Chronic periodontitis– Inflammation within supporting tissues cause deep pockets and gum recession. It may appear the teeth are lengthening, but in actuality, the gums (gingiva) are receding. This is the most common form of periodontal disease and is characterized by progressive loss of attachment, interspersed with periods of rapid progression.
- Aggressive periodontitis– This form of gum disease occurs in an otherwise clinically healthy individual. It is characterized by rapid loss of gum attachment, chronic bone destruction and familial aggregation.
- Necrotizing periodontitis– This form of periodontal disease most often occurs in individuals suffering from systemic conditions such as HIV, immunosuppression, and malnutrition. Necrosis (tissue death) occurs in the periodontal ligament, alveolar bone and gingival tissues.
- Periodontitis caused by systemic disease– Periodontal disease can be a symptom of a disease or condition affecting the rest of the body. Depending on the underlying conditions, the disease can behave like aggressive periodontal disease, working quickly to destroy tissue. Heart disease, diabetes, and respiratory disease are the most common co-factors, though there are many others. Even in cases where little plaque coats the teeth, many medical conditions intensify and accelerate the progression of periodontal disease.