Among the causes for periodontal (gum) disease are genetic susceptibility, smoking, and other illnesses like diabetes. Periodontal maintenance involves removing plaque and tartar from above and below the gum line. Most gum diseases are preventable with proper oral hygiene. However, what can start out as gingivitis (inflamed or bleeding gums) can quickly turn into periodontitis. In such cases, gums pull away from the tooth to create “pockets,” thereby exposing a dental root to infection. It can also lead to prolonged bad breath, loose teeth, painful chewing and other complications.
Diagnosing Gum Disease
Gingivitis (inflamed or bleeding gums) can be diagnosed and treated with regular cleanings. Advanced infection of the gums is called periodontal disease where loss of tooth supporting bone is involved. This infection can be removed using specialized instruments. This procedure is called "Scaling and Root Planning."
When the periodontal disease becomes more extensive a periodontist is recommended. A periodontist is a specialist in the treatment of periodontal disease, with different options available to treat the existing condition.