My Blog

Posts for tag: Periodontal Disease

By Thomas G. Faiver DDS PC
September 25, 2019
Category: Oral Health

It's an unfortunate fact that millions of Americans are currently struggling with periodontal disease. An inflammatory condition that heavily affects gum tissue, periodontal disease is the leading cause of tooth loss today, according to the National Institute of Dental and Craniofacial Research, and it can have wide-ranging effects on your overall wellbeing as well. Fortunately, Dr. Thomas Faiver, your dentist in East Lansing, MI, can help provide treatment for this potentially deadly disease!

More about periodontal disease

From mild gingivitis (evidenced by bleeding when you brush) to advanced periodontitis, gum disease develops in the space between the gums and tooth surfaces. Called the sulcus, this space may fill with bacteria-laden plaque and calculus, or hard tartar. As the sulcus fills, it becomes infected, causing:

  • Gum recession
  • Puffiness, tenderness and redness
  • Bone degradation
  • Exposure of tooth roots
  • Halitosis (very bad-smelling breath)
  • Pus
  • Dental sensitivity
  • Tooth drift or mobility
  • Changes in the fit of a denture or in dental bite
  • Pain when biting and chewing
  • Discoloration of gum tissue

Even worse, many scientific studies show a link between heart disease, stroke, hypertension, diabetes, dementia, and more, according to the American Heart Association.

Do you have it?

At our East Lansing office, Dr. Faiver includes periodontal measurements with every dental examination. During this step, your dentist or hygienist gently inserts a tiny metal probe into each gum sulcus. A measurement of one to three millimeters is normal and healthy, but four millimeters and deeper is diagnostic for periodontal disease.

Treating gum disease

Plaque and tartar in pockets of this depth are difficult to remove. However, your hygienist practices scaling and root planing with manual and ultrasonic tools that effectively lift out these harmful deposits. With the installation of antibiotics and good oral hygiene at home, gums usually reattach to tooth surfaces, creating that characteristic turtleneck sweater appearance and snugness which nourish and support your teeth.

Additionally, more advanced cases of gum disease may respond to gum grafting, laser treatments, or more complex in-office procedures to cover bare tooth roots. Dr. Faiver will advise the procedure best for your long-term oral health. Of course, your semi-annual cleanings and exams, along with diligent brushing and flossing habits at home, help remove dangerous biofilms.

Need more details?

Contact the team at Dr. Thomas Faiver's office in East Lansing, MI. They'll answer any questions that you have and help you achieve a healthy smile—phone (517) 351-7222 today.