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Periodontitis Isn’t a Summer Superhero

Posted in Periodontal Treatment | June 15, 2017

Periodontal Treatment Mount Pleasant, MIWith all the superhero movies out these days, it’s hard to keep track of which protagonist is which. And, if you’re not familiar with the term, when you hear “periodontitis” you may assume he’s just a costumed do-gooder.

Not so. Periodontitis is the enemy of your teeth. Fortunately, Dr. Egger is well-versed in doing battle with periodontitis.

What is periodontitis?

Periodontitis is the fancy term for gum disease and is the leading cause of adult tooth loss in the United States. It isn’t aged specific, as it usually is simply a result of poor oral hygiene. But once it has taken hold, you’ll need the expertise of Dr. Egger to save your teeth.

Gum disease has its origins in gingivitis, the term for gum irritation. If you don’t brush and floss properly or regularly, the plaque that forms on your teeth daily takes hold. If left, that plaque hardens into tartar, and tartar can only be removed by a dentist. Tartar begins to work its way under the gumline, where it makes the gums pull away from the teeth. Pockets form in the gums — a perfect home for bacteria to build up. Now infection sets in and the bacteria will begin to attack your teeth and their roots. Before you know it, you’ll start losing teeth.

Warning signs of periodontitis

But it’s not as if this all happens overnight. Unhappy gums show themselves long before they become infected. Healthy gums should be bubble gum pink in color. They should adhere to the teeth and not have spaces or pockets.

Here are the classic warning signs of gum disease:

  • Patches of redness along your gumline
  • Bleeding gums when you brush or floss
  • Gum tissue that is swollen, shiny, mushy, and dry to the touch
  • Receding gums
  • Persistent bad breath
  • Loose teeth

How Dr. Egger diagnoses gum disease

It’s not all that difficult to tell a patient has gum disease; the question is the degree and how much damage it has done. Dr. Egger will examine your teeth to see the progress. He’ll probe the pockets between the gums and the teeth, measuring their size and depth. Anything beyond 3mm is considered gum disease. We’ll take x-rays to see how much damage has been done to the jawbone. The stages of gum disease are Type 1 (gingivitis) through Type 4 (lots of bone and gum deterioration and possible tooth loss).

Treating periodontitis

Dr. Egger begins treatment of gum disease with root planing and root scaling. Scaling involves scraping off the buildup of hard tartar below the gums. Root planing involves removing a very small portion of the hard outer coating of the tooth root to make the surface smooth. The goal here is to get the tartar out from under the gums and to get the gums back next to the teeth again.

Is it time to have your teeth checked? Call Dr. Egger at 989-773-3560 to make your appointment.

 


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