If plaque and tartar is left on the teeth it provides the right conditions for bacteria to thrive. The bacteria irritate the gums and causes them to bleed more easily. You may notice this if you are brushing your teeth, or eating, and sometimes your gums may bleed a bit. This is the early stage of gum disease called gingivitis. If you have gingivitis, our hygienist will clean your teeth by scaling and polishing them. She will show you how to brush and floss your teeth effectively because most adults have some degree of gum disease.
If gingivitis is not treated and nothing is done about it, the inflammation will work its way down towards the foundations of the tooth causing a “periodontal pocket”. Again, within the confines of the pocket, the conditions are such that the bacteria can thrive, and cause more damage.
Gum disease can break down the support (bone) structures of the teeth, so that eventually, they will become loose. The problem is that until it gets quite severe, the person often has no symptoms. Sadly, the damage to the support structures of the teeth is irreversible. The good news is that if gum disease is caught in time, its progression can be halted and improved upon, and that is the key.
To stop gum disease from progressing, Dr. Arredondo may advise periodontal therapy, or deep cleaning. This gets rid of the bacteria in the pocket and provides the necessary conditions for healing to occur.