Gum Infection Treatment

What is Gum Infection and What Causes It?

Not having regular dental cleanings can lead to a buildup of plaque and calculus on your teeth. If the buildup is not removed in a timely manner, it will cause your gum tissue to become inflamed. Inflamed gum tissue begins as Gingivitis and results in bright red swollen, puffy gum tissue that bleeds easily during brushing and flossing.  It can also cause an increase in the depth of the pocket of tissue surrounding the affected teeth.

Progession to Periodontal Disease and Bone Loss

Gingivitis that is not treated and eliminated can progress to Periodontal Disease or " Pyorrhea."  Signs of this are :

  • Gums that bleed easily during brushing or flossing
  • Evidence of Gum Recession
  • Slight Mobility in teeth
  • Severe buildup of Calculus under the Gum Tissue
  • Halitosis or Bad Breath
  • Evidence of Bone Loss and Increases in Tissue Probing Depths

Advanced Periodontal Disease

Periodontal Disease only worsens the longer it is is left untreated. As Bone Loss around the teeth progresses to an advanced state, you may notice the following:

  • Evidence of Severe Gum Recession
  • Significant Mobility in teeth
  • Pain when trying to chew on severely involved teeth
  • Potential for Dental Abscesses due to bone loss resulting in Perio-Endodontic Lesions on teeth
  • Shifting or Flaring Out of the Front teeth
  • Loss of teeth due to Lack of Bone Support

Radiographic Evidence of Calculus

Calculus buildup appears as "fin" like projections on the sides of teeth. The Calculus Buildup creates an ideal site for the bacteria that causes Periodontal Disease to colonize. As bacterial growth continues, the microorganisms begin to produce toxins which begin to destroy the tissue and bone attachment to the teeth.  This results in the periodontal pocket becoming deeper which allows bacteria to travel further down the root of the tooth resulting in even more attachment loss and eventual tooth loss.

Advanced Bone Loss

The red lines located between the yellow and green baselines indicate areas where Bone Loss has progressed to an advanced level resulting in significant weakening of the bone support for this tooth. As Bone Loss becomes more advanced, the long term prognosis of the tooth becomes increasingly questionable and usually results in extraction or removal of the affected tooth or teeth.

Treatment of Gum Infections

Treatment of Gum Infections depends on the severity of the bone loss, pocket depths, and amount of loss of gum attachment.  Normal, healthy tissue usually has pocketing depths ranging from 1-3 mm deep. Elevated pocket depths ranging from 4-6 mm deep are an indication of inflammation of the gum tissue and possible bone loss, and is usually treated with Non-Surgical Scaling and Root Planing with routine Dental Checkups every 3-4 months after the Gum Treatment.  Pocket depths greater than 7 mm deep usually require a combination of Non-Surgical and Surgical treatments to remove Calculus Build Up and return pocket depths to a more manageable level. In some severe, advanced cases; you may be referred to Gum Tissue Specialist such as a Periodontist for treatment.