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About Periodontal Disease in Lexington, MA

Contributing Factors to Periodontal Disease

The response of the gums and bone to dental plaque may be modified by one or more of the following factors.
  • Poorly fitting dental restorations
  • Smoking
  • Crowded teeth, improper bite alignment
  • Clenching or grinding of teeth
  • Hormonal changes, including pregnancy, menstruation and menopause
  • Diet
  • Systemic diseases, including blood disorders and diabetes
  • Medications, including calcium channel blockers and anti-convulsants

Warning Signs of Periodontal Disease

  • Gums that bleed easily
  • Red, swollen or tender gums
  • Gums that have pulled away from your teeth
  • Persistent bad breath
  • Pus between the teeth and gums
  • Loose or separating teeth
  • A change in the way your teeth fit together when you bite
  • A change in the fit of partial dentures

Diagnosis of Periodontal Disease

Periodontal disease can be easily detected by a general dentist or periodontist during regular examinations. A periodontist is a dentist who specializes in the diagnosis, prevention and treatment of gum disease. A periodontal charting should be performed for all teeth. A periodontal probe, with ruled millimeter markings, is used to measure the depth of the space between the teeth and gums. Ideally, normal measurements range between 1 and 3 millimeters. Depths greater than this may signify the presence of periodontal pockets and associated gum disease. X-rays should be taken to see if bone damage has occurred as a result of the disease process.

Treatment of Periodontal Disease

The main goal of periodontal treatment is the elimination of the disease process from the gums, periodontal ligaments and bones that surround the teeth, and the restoration of health that can be predictably maintained in the future. Shallower pockets, less than 3 mm, are easier to maintain and keep healthy.
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