Gum disease, or gingivitis, begins with a clear, sticky substance called plaque. As this builds up on the teeth, it can harden into tartar, or calculus, if it is not removed with general dentistry treatments. A professional cleaning is required to eliminate this substance from the surface of the teeth.
When it is left to accumulate, the tartar eventually pushes the gums away from the teeth. Small pockets form where more bacteria build up and food particles get trapped. The gums become infected and the body responds by sending antibodies to the infected sites. This activity between bacteria and the body’s natural defense system produces byproducts that can cause the bone to dissolve. Teeth become loose and eventually fall out.
Periodontal therapy procedures depend on how far the disease has progressed. In the early stages, non-surgical methods of treatment may be sufficient to halt the disease. Severe damage may call for surgery in order to restore health to the area. Your dentist will make a determination regarding the best therapy for the condition of your gums. You will receive instructions for home care, along with follow-up appointments to make sure that healing is progressing as it should.