Probably! 80% of all adults has had or will have periodontal (gum) disease infection in their lifetime. This is gum infection beyond the common reversible gingivitis.
Periodontal diseases are host-mediated, pus-forming, bone destroying bacterial infections with deadly consequences. The amount of damage to your teeth, bones, and health depend on the presence of specific bacteria and how strong your immune system is to fight them.
These gum infections are caused by overgrowth of specific (bad) bacteria passed between family members and partners through saliva. There are several factors that increase your risk of developing gum disease such as: smoking or chewing tobacco, medical conditions that affect your immune system, i.e. diabetes, HIV infections and blood disorders. Other factors that increase your risk are: medications that dry your saliva or create hormonal imbalances and the strength of the immune system you inherited from your family.
What symptoms should I look for?
Some people may experience swelling, sore, or bleeding gums, bad breath or loose teeth. However, most people have no symptoms until the destruction is very advanced. The good news is that there are diagnostic tests that can detect and confirm the infection in the earliest stages before the teeth, bones and health are compromised.
That is why regular dental check-ups and periodontal examinations are so very important. A thorough periodontal examination by a dentist would include: a physical examination of the teeth and pockets around the teeth, digital x-rays to check bone levels supporting the teeth, microscopic and other diagnostic tests of the specific bugs in your mouth.
How is gum disease treated?
With the results of the examination, a treatment plan is formed for the unique needs of the patient. A partnership is begun between the patient and the dentist in order to approach the common goal of eradicating the bad bacteria, healing the tissues, and strengthening the patient’s own defense system.
Early gum infections are controlled with Initial Diagnostic Therapy (IDT) appointments that include: debridement and detoxification of the teeth and gums, meticulous home care and customized recare appointments.
Moderate to Advanced gum infections are treated with multiple, gentle, deep cleaning Periodontal Therapy (PT) appointments with natural medications placed underneath the gums to kill bad bacteria and support healing, laser gum therapy, customized home care, and recare appointments.