Periodontal disease is a long-term (chronic) bacterial infection that attacks the gums and the bones that support the teeth.

The word “periodontal” literally means “around the tooth.” Periodontal disease is a chronic bacterial infection that affects the gums, the tissue that surrounds and supports the teeth, and the bone beneath.

The bacteria that cause periodontal disease live in the plaque that accumulates on your teeth. Bacterial plaque can harden into a rough substance called calculus (or tartar) that brushing cannot remove. The bacteria in plaque produce toxins that irritate the gums, causing them to become inflamed and bleed easily. Over time, the inflammation caused by periodontal disease causes the bone and gum attachment to deteriorate. If too much bone is lost, the teeth can become loose and may need to be extracted.

Stages Of Gum Disease

Periodontal disease usually progresses through a series of stages. Initially, gingivitis causes red, swollen, and bleeding gums. Gum disease can progress to periodontitis, which causes teeth to fall out. The later stages of periodontal disease cause widespread tooth loss.

What Are The Causes Of Periodontal Disease?

Periodontal disease is caused by the bacteria that live naturally in your mouth. When bacteria build up, plaque forms and breaks down the gums. Over time, the bacteria destroy the bone and tissue that hold your teeth in place. That is why it is important to receive regular dental care, which can help to detect and stop the progression of gum disease.

Treatment Options For Periodontal Disease

Treatment for periodontal disease depends on the severity of the disease, as well as a patient’s specific case. 

  • Scaling and root planing

Scaling and root planing (SRP) is a procedure that involves removing plaque and calculus (tartar) from your teeth. Plaque and tartar buildup can lead to gum disease and cavities, which is why it’s important to regularly maintain your oral hygiene. SRP is recommended if you have symptoms of gum disease, including tender gums, bleeding, or sore gums. SRP is also known as a deep cleaning because it goes deep into the gums to remove buildup.

SRP is performed under local anesthesia to numb the gums. The first step is scaling the teeth. The hygienist will use a tool to scrape away plaque and tartar from the teeth. Once the teeth are scaled, the root planing is done. The doctor or hygienist will use special tools to remove buildup on the tooth roots and under the gums.

  • Flap surgery

During flap surgery, your dentist will lift back the gums and remove the disease-causing bacteria before securing the gums back into place. You may need flap surgery if your gum tissue has thickened and pockets have formed.

  • Bone grafts

If periodontal disease has damaged the jawbone, a bone graft can help restore its function. This procedure involves placing bone grafting material in the jawbone, which the body then uses to heal and regrow healthy bone tissue.

  • Regenerative periodontal surgery

Regenerative periodontal surgery, also known as guided tissue regeneration, is a procedure that is designed to regenerate healthy bone and gum tissue. Regenerative periodontal surgery is primarily used when the gums have receded to the point that the roots of the teeth become exposed. This can cause tooth sensitivity, pain, and discoloration.

At Greenwell Springs Family Dentistry, we offer high-quality dental care using state-of-the-art dental technologies. To learn more about our dental services, call Dentist Greenwell Springs, LA at (225) 261-0043 or visit our dental office located at 14127 Greenwell Springs Road, Greenwell Springs.


14127 Greenwell Springs Road,
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