Advanced Dental Hygiene
Healthy gums create a tight seal around the neck of the tooth, helping to prevent bacteria from causing an infection. With over 300 types of bacteria present in the oral cavity, that is quite a job. There are two main types of gum disease: reversible, and irreversible.
Gingivitis is a reversible condition caused by irritation to plaque, a white film of bacteria at and below the gum line. Diligent self care at home is frequently all that is necessary to restore health, unless the plaque calcifies into tartar. At that point, a professional teeth cleaning (aka, prophy) will be required.
Periodontitis occurs when prolonged gingivitis goes untreated. The swelling from gingivitis loosens the seal around the neck of the tooth, permitting bacteria access to the root of the tooth and jaw bone. Bacteria excrete a harmful toxin that over time causes the periodontal ligament to dissolve and the teeth to loosen. Neither the body’s own immune response nor an antibiotic taken in pill form can reverse the infection; the bacteria have literally burrowed into the tooth and gum! Professional treatments called Scaling/Root planing will physically remove the bacteria, and the patient’s home care routine will keep it at bay.