Colorado Gum Disease
As much as 70% of the American population is affected by gum disease, also called periodontal disease. This is a chronic bacterial infection of the gums, teeth, and bone that surrounds the teeth. Periodontal disease occurs when bacteria build up on your teeth and gums, causing your gums to become red and swollen.
Left untreated, this inflammation eventually results in damage to the ligaments and bone that hold your teeth in place. This damage causes pockets to form around your teeth. As the disease progresses and the pockets deepen, your teeth can become loose and fall out. Periodontal disease may also exacerbate other serious health problems, such as cardiovascular disease, osteoporosis, and diabetes.
What are your choices for treating periodontal disease? If you have periodontal disease, your choices are limited. You could:
- – Delay treatment
- – Choose treatment
Delaying treatment is a risky alternative because periodontal disease never goes away on its own. Periodontal disease is an ongoing, degenerative infection of the teeth, gums, and bone that surrounds the teeth, caused by bacteria. The bacteria produce toxins, and these toxins-combined with the body’s reaction to them-destroy the bone around your teeth. Bone that is lost never grows back. If too much bone is lost, teeth get loose and have to be removed.
Ultrasonic Scaling and Lasers
Treatment of periodontal disease includes ultrasonic scaling and laser treatment, usually scheduled in a series of appointments. Ultrasonic scaling is used to eliminate the source of periodontal infection by removing the plaque, tartar, and bacterial toxins from the root surfaces of the teeth below the gumline.
Using special instruments, we carefully and meticulously remove the plaque and tartar around and beneath the gumline, and then smooth the root surfaces. This removes the source of infection and helps your gums heal and tighten around your teeth. This is followed by laser treatment to the periodontal pocket to sterilize the pocket and kill any remaining bacteria.
We recommend a three-month recare program for periodontal patients. Although the scaling and root planing disrupt the growth of bacteria, some settle back into the pocket where they begin reproducing again. More frequent periodontal maintenance visits can help us break the stronghold of bacteria in your gums, minimizing the recurrence of the infection, and slow or eliminate its destructive effects.