Oral Health: Part III Disease affecting the gum and bones surrounding the teeth

Dr. Ziad Jalbout

Gum disease:
(aka: gingivitis and periodontitis)

Gum disease is the most under-diagnosed disease affecting the teeth. The primary reasons is that like high blood pressure, often there are no symptoms. Gum disease can still be present when pain isn’t.

Some of the subtle symptoms of gum disease include bleeding gums when brushing and flossing, loose teeth, and receding gums.

What is gum disease?

Gum disease can be divided in two categories:  the first is inflammation of the gums around the teeth (gingivitis) and the second is a loss of the bone which supports the teeth most often accompanied by inflammation of the gums.

The following table shows some of the differences.

Gum inflammation Bone loss
What are the symptoms? Bleeding gums

Darkened, stained, yellowish teeth

Bleeding gums

Loose teeth

Shifting teeth

Receding gums

What are the causes? Poor brushing and flossing

Infrequent professional cleaning

 

Poor brushing and flossing

Infrequent professional cleaning

Smoking

When found in young age may be genetic

 

How is it diagnosed? Visual clinical exam and measurements (aka probing) Visual clinical exam,  measurements and x-rays
Is it treatable? Yes and usually 100% percent reversible Yes and usually 100% arrested (meaning further bone loss can be stopped)
What is the treatment? Professional cleaning, polishing and optimizing home brushing and flossing Initial treatment with professional deep cleaning with numbing and optimizing brushing and flossing

Additional treatment may be needed after a re-evaluation of the outcome of the initial treatment

 

At Making You Smile we are committed to prevention of gum disease through comprehensive diagnosis, patient education and thorough treatment and prevention plan.