Gum (Periodontal) disease is an inflammation or infection of the supporting structures of the teeth, the bone and the surrounding gum tissue. It is caused by a sticky, colorless film called plaque that is constantly forming on the teeth. If plaque is not cleaned off the teeth with proper brushing and flossing, the bacteria in the plaque cause gingivitis – an inflammation of the gum tissue. The symptoms of gingivitis are red, swollen, tender, or bleeding gums. Patients displaying any of these symptoms should contact Dr. Dantini as soon as possible. If left untreated this condition will progress to periodontitis.
Periodontitis occurs when plaque starts to calcify and become ‘calculus’ or ‘tartar’. Tartar migrates under the gum tissue to cause ‘pocketing’ around the teeth and destroy the bone tissue. If left long enough, the entire supporting structure of the tooth can be destroyed with the resultant loss of the tooth or teeth.
Unfortunately, periodontitis is found in 3 out of 4 adults over 35. Symptoms include loose or shifting teeth, gum tissue separating from the teeth, longer-appearing teeth, and/or pus or an unpleasant taste or odor coming from the mouth.
Periodontitis can’t be treated at home. The tartar that forms under your gums must be cleaned off by a dentist or hygienist. This procedure is called root planing and scaling. If caught early enough, minimum damage of the supporting structures occurs resulting in a good prognosis.
If the condition is more advanced, other therapies including gum surgery or bone regeneration may have to be performed. In the worst case, the teeth may have to be removed. Fortunately, eating well balanced meals, avoiding snacking (especially sweets), regular brushing, flossing and regular check-ups can limit the risk of getting gum disease.
Scaling and root planing can cost from $150 to $300 per quadrant (There are 4 in your mouth.). More extensive periodontal procedures can cost as much as $1,000 or more per quadrant depending on an individual case and procedure performed.