At our Flatbush dentist office, our experts will explain that gum disease is a swelling of the gums that can progress to affect your bone surrounding, and supporting, your teeth. It’s caused by the bacteria in plaque, the colorless, sticky film that forms on your teeth continually. When the plaque is not removed through daily brushing and flossing, it builds up, and the bacteria will infect, not only your gums and teeth, but eventually the tissue and bone that support your teeth. This can cause your teeth to become loose, fall out, or have to be removed. Our Brooklyn Dental Group encourages you to schedule regular checkups so that early stage gum disease can be treated before it leads to a much more serious issue.
Gingivitis, periodontitis and advanced periodontitis are the three stages of gum disease. Gingivitis is the earliest stage and is the swelling of your gums caused by plaque buildup at your gum line. Excess plaque produces poisons that aggravate your gum tissue and you may see some bleeding during brushing and flossing. It’s in this early stage of gum disease that damage can be reversed, since the bone and tissue that hold your teeth in place have not yet been affected. At the next stage, periodontitis, your supporting bone and fibers holding your teeth in place, are permanently damaged, and your gums may begin to form a pocket below the gum line, trapping food and plaque. Proper dental treatment at our Flatbush dentist office, combined with better care at home, will usually help prevent any further damage. If this is not the case, however, advanced periodontitis, the final stage of gum disease, will occur. This is where the fibers and bone supporting your teeth are destroyed, your teeth may shift or loosen, and your bite can be affected. If aggressive treatment can’t save them, the teeth may need to be removed.
With proper flossing and brushing, the early stages of gum disease can often be reversed, but a professional cleaning at our Flatbush dentist office is the only way to remove built up plaque that has hardened into tartar. Your teeth will be cleaned, or “scaled” (deep cleaning), to remove the tartar above and below your gum line. If your condition is more serious, a root planing can be done which helps smooth irregularities on the roots of your teeth, making it harder for plaque to deposit there.