Gum Diseases

Gingivitis and Periodontitis

Gingivitis is the dental term for early gum inflammation. In general, gingivitis is caused by long-term exposure to plaque, the sticky but colorless that forms on teeth after eating or sleeping.

Early gingivitis is reversible

Gum disease originates in the gums. Infections may form from harmful bacteria and other materials left behind after eating and improper or inadequate oral hygiene. Early warning signs include chronic bad breath, tender gums and minor bleeding after brushing or flossing. In many cases, however, gingivitis can go unnoticed.

Pregnancy has also been known to cause a form of gingivitis that is linked to hormonal changes.
One should have the attention of a dentist during this period of life.

While early Gingivitis is reversible, remember the following formula. Gingivitis + Time= Gum and Bone loss. This is called periodontitis. Over 90% of adult tooth loss is due to periodontitis. The biggest contributing factor here is your inherited resistance to disease. Other factors can be, but are not limited to, tooth grinding, missing teeth, improper bite and lack of regular and effective home care by the patient.

The most common way to determine the severity of periodontal disease is the ‘pocket measurement’. A pocket is the crevice between the tooth and gum – around the neck of any tooth.

Although gum disease is the major cause of tooth loss in adults, in many cases it is avoidable. Periodontitis is treated in a number of ways.

Deep Cleaning (also known as Root Planning)

Deep cleaning involves cleaning below the gum line to smooth and detoxify the root surfaces. This procedure helps the gums reattach themselves to the tooth structure creating a shallower gum pocket. Careful evaluation after this procedure is completed allows us to determine which future course to take. Our intention is for our patients to keep their teeth for a lifetime.

© Copyright 2018 James Watson DDS San Francisco Dentist | Dental Web Design by RedstoneX