Gum disease can be described as inflammation and/or infection of gums, which is caused by plaque (thick biofilm which builds upon teeth). Poor oral hygiene can cause this plaque to harden/calcify and turn into Calculus.
Early gum disease or Gingivitis: Plaque and calculus, if left undisturbed can cause inflammation of gums, causing gingivitis. Gingivitis is reversible and it can easily be treated by simple scale/clean at dentist and improving oral hygiene at home
Advanced gum disease or Periodontitis: Long standing plaque and calculus on teeth and gums can cause serious damage to oral health. Not getting regular cleans at dentist, poor oral hygiene, smoking; dry mouth, etc are some of the reasons why a person may get advanced gum disease or Periodontitis.
As gum inflammation gets worse, pockets form between teeth and gums, causing gums to recede, bone loss and eventually teeth to become loose and fall out.
Treatment of gum disease depends on severity of gum disease.
Simple Scale and Clean: Removal of calculus/plaque built up above and around the gums in areas of shallow pockets by dentist or hygienist.
Root debridement or deep cleaning: Removal of calculus under the gums using very fine instruments in deeper pockets leaving root surface clean. Local anesthetic is usually needed for deep cleaning so that the procedure is comfortable and pain free for the patient. Deep cleaning is usually performed over 2 to 4 visits.
Gum disease can be controlled and prevented by: