Suffering from gum discomfort or pain? At Fraser Valley Dental Specialists in Abbotsford, our periodontist provides prevention, diagnosis, and treatment services for patients suffering from gum disease.
Periodontal disease (also known as gum disease) is an infection of the tissues that surround and support the teeth. Gum disease is caused by plaque, a sticky film comprised of food debris, bacteria, and saliva.
If plaque is not removed, it can turn into calculus (tartar). When plaque and calculus are not removed, they could inflame the tissues surrounding the teeth.
Periodontal disease could present a variety of symptoms including:
You may not even be aware that you have gum disease, as it is usually painless in its early stages.
Gum disease is treatable and early detection can be important for successful treatment.
A periodontal probe (small dental instrument) is gently used to measure the sulcus (pocket or space) between the tooth and the gums. The depth of a healthy sulcus measures three millimeters or less and does not bleed. The periodontal probe helps indicate if pockets are deeper than three millimeters. As periodontal (gum) disease progresses, the pockets usually get deeper.
If the disease has progressed to a more advanced stage, a special periodontal cleaning called scaling and root planing (deep cleaning) may be recommended. It is usually done one quadrant of the mouth at a time while the area is numb.
In this procedure, tartar, plaque, and toxins are removed from above and below the gum line (scaling) and rough spots on root surfaces are made smooth (planing). This procedure can help gum tissue heal and pockets shrink.
Medications, special medicated mouth rinses, and an electric toothbrush may be recommended to help control infection and healing. If the pockets do not heal after scaling and root planing, periodontal surgery may be needed to reduce pocket depths, making teeth easier to clean.