Periodontal disease is also known as gum disease. It is a chronic condition resulting from bacteria getting underneath the gum line and causing the attachment between the gums and teeth to gradually disappear. This is an infectious process that frequently gets detected in its advanced stages. The final outcome is loss of gum tissue, loss of bone, tooth mobility and tooth loss. This loss is irreversible, therefore it is extremely important to treat gum disease in its early stages. Regular dental examinations are the best way to ensure a timely diagnosis.
When plaque hardens into tartar underneath the gum line and stays there for months without removal, the gums may get inflamed, a condition referred to as gingivitis. Gingivitis is a mild form of gum disease. The inflammation causes redness, bleeding, swelling and pain in the gums. At this stage, the process can be reversed with diligent daily toothbrushing and flossing. Bone loss has not occurred yet. Regular cleaning by your dental hygienist is very important.
What Is Periodontitis?
Its literal translation means inflammation around the tooth. This occurs when the gum inflammation, or gingivitis, is not treated in a timely manner and the process known as periodontal disease has been let to progress to the point where the gums pull away from the teeth, leaving behind spaces or pockets. The pockets become easily infected, causing a strong immune response. The connective tissue holding the teeth into the socket gets permanently damaged by the combination substance resulting from the immune response and bacterial toxins.
Scaling and Root Planning
Scaling and root planning is the professional term for periodontal cleaning. It involves a deep level tartar removal (scaling), and removal of tooth damage and bacteria (root planning).
Minocycline hydrochloride (the trade name for this medication is Arestin) is an antibiotic applied by your dentist to particular areas in your mouth that have been affected by periodontal disease, usually in the open spaces between your gums and teeth. Antibacterial rinses are also acceptable as recommended by your dentist. Surgery may be indicated in some advanced cases of gum disease.