Gum Disease

About Periodontal Disease

Information about Periodontal Disease from Dr. Polin in Boca Raton

Periodontal diseases are infections of the gums, which gradually lead to the destruction of the support of your natural teeth. These diseases effect more than 80% of Americans by the age of 45.

Dental plaque is the primary cause of gum disease. Bacteria found in plaque produce enzymes and toxins which injure the gums. Injured gums turn red, swell and bleed easily.

If this injury is prolonged, the gums separate from the teeth, causing pockets (spaces) to form.

Plaque can also harden into a rough, porous substance known as calculus (tartar).

This can occur both above and below the gum line. As periodontal diseases progress, the supporting gum tissue and bone that holds teeth in place deteriorate.

If left untreated, this leads to tooth loss. Pain is usually not present until damage from this disease is very advanced.

Sensitivity

Teeth that are suffering damage from gum disease will always be more sensitive to cold; and if you avoid cleaning them due to this sensitivity, it can only make the problem worse.

After dental treatment, some teeth may be more sensitive because this is their way of dealing with injury. Injuries to teeth such as cavities, gum infection and jaw clenching can damage the nerves in a tooth. The sensitivity should not last long after treatment as long as your teeth are kept clean; otherwise, the sensitivity is likely to get worse. If your teeth are ever extra sensitive, please consult with Dr. Polin as this could be a sign that you need a root canal or gum tissue treatment.

Healthy Gums

Healthy Gums

Healthy gums are generally pink and anchor the teeth firmly in place.

Stages Of Gum Disease

Gingivitis

Gingivitis is an early stage of gum disease. Gingivitis develops as toxins, enzymes and other plaque byproducts by irritating the gums, making them tender, swollen and likely to bleed easily. Gingivitis generally can be stopped with proper oral hygiene and minor treatment from your dentist. If this is achieved, your gums can return to a healthy state.

Periodontitis

Moderate gum disease is when the tooth's bone tissue starts to deteriorate. Periodontitis occurs when plaque byproducts destroy the tissues that anchor your teeth in the bone. The gums deteriorate and begin detaching themselves from the teeth forming gum pockets, which allows more plaque to collect below the gum line. This causes the roots of the teeth to become susceptible to decay. Generally, patients notice an increase in sensitivity to hot and cold and to touch.

Advanced Periodontitis

Advanced periodontitis occurs when a major amount of gum and bone tissue has been lost and the teeth are losing more and more support due to the loss of periodontal ligament and bone. Some teeth are unable to be saved and must be extracted. If left untreated, advanced periodontitis can cause severe health problems elsewhere in the body.

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