What is Periodontal Disease?

What Is Periodontal Disease?

Periodontal disease is an inflammatory condition affecting the gums. If not taken care of promptly, it can spread to the bone structure of your jaw as well. If you suspect that you may have symptoms of periodontal disease, consulting a periodontist is the best way to help you choose the right treatment.

Symptoms

While at its onset, periodontal disease may be painless, its presence will cause other symptoms to appear. Common symptoms include red or swollen gums, bleeding, and a constant bad taste in the mouth. Later stages can include symptoms such as receding gums, loosening teeth and pus in the gum area.

Causes

The chief cause of periodontal disease is a proliferation of bacteria that comes from dental plaque. It is important to note that while brushing is an important preventative measure, genetics and environmental factors also play a role and periodontal disease can affect you even if you brush regularly. In the first stages of gum disease, your immune system responds to the presence of the bacteria with inflammation and infection. The swelling of your gums can then cause them to pull away from the tooth, creating an empty space for further bacteria to enter and carry the infection to the bone and ligaments.  If left untreated, this condition can eventually cause damage to your teeth and your jawbone.

Treatment

Treating gum disease means removing the plaque and the bacteria that are causing it. Traditionally, this is done with manual instruments and ultrasound. Another option is laser surgery, which is preferred by many patients because it results in less physical discomfort. Using laser tools is an effective way to achieve results with reduced amounts of bleeding and swelling, and better sterilization. If you are experiencing symptoms of periodontal disease, you should be aware of your options for treatment and take prompt action to stop further progress of the inflammation. If you are ready to explore your choices for laser gum surgery in Oakland, CA, contact Dr. Keith Chertok’s office at 510-548-0150 to schedule an appointment.