Periodontal disease is the infection of the gum tissue and bones surrounding teeth which will not go away by itself, but requires professional treatment.
The signs of gum diseases include:
- Bleed when brushing teeth
- Gums are red, swollen or tender
- Bad breath that doesn't go away
- Pus between teeth and gums
- Loose teeth
- A change in the way the teeth fit together when biting
- A change in the fit of partial dentures
Plaque and calculus can be removed by scaling and teeth cleaning. However, once gum disease has begun to destroy the gum and bone around teeth, an ordinary cleaning will not be enough to stop the progress of the infection. A procedure called periodontal scaling, which is more extensive and time-consuming than routine cleaning, becomes necessary. It removes plaque and tartar that are causing the infection below the gum line. Root planing smooths the root surfaces, which allows the gum tissue to heal and to reattach to the tooth. After treatment, it is critical that patients practice good oral hygiene and that they seek regular professional maintenance care in the dental or periodontal office.
Health Note: Gum disease has been linked to heart disease, low birth weight in babies and other health problems, so it is a condition that should be taken seriously.