The causes of periodontal disease vary from patient to patient. Understanding the root cause that precipitates gum disease serves the patient in two ways. First, it helps the dentist determine which treatment option will best remedy the infection. Secondly, it shows the patient what behaviors need to be altered, or what medical factors need to be addressed, later down the line in a preventative care program.
The following list of causes of periodontal disease is intended to help people gain greater awareness of what may be creating problems with their oral health, how best to seek out remedies, and where to go for treatment.
Bacterial plaque is the primary cause of periodontal disease. Neglecting to properly brush and floss teeth will allow plaque to build up. Professional tooth cleaning will be needed to prevent this bacterial growth from raging out of control.
Both smokeless tobacco and smoking in general have long been suspected causes of periodontal disease. Now research indicates that tobacco may be one of the biggest risk factors of gum infections.
Researchers now believe that as many as 30% of all people are genetically vulnerable to Periodontitis. These people come down with gum infections no matter how rigorously they take care of their teeth. A genetic test is now available that can identify these people and help them develop a physician-guided proactive care plan.
Puberty, Pregnancy, and Menopause
These changes in a womans body create hormonal flux that can cause gums to become more sensitive to infection and make them more vulnerable to disease. It is a good idea for women to have a full dental examination during these times to check for early signs of gingivitis.
As doctors have said for years, stress can generate any number serious ailments in human beings. Stress makes it more difficult for the body to fight off infection because it weakens the immune system. This can cause periodontal disease if bacterial growth and gingivitis are not dealt with in time. People living high stress lives need to make it a point to see a dentist regularly for checkups and teeth cleaning services.
Some medications, such as oral contraceptives, anti-depressants, and certain heart medicines, can affect oral health. People taking such medications should talk to their physician about these possible side effects.
Teeth grinding also causes gum disease. Teeth grinding puts excessive pressure on the supportive tissues of the teeth and speeds up the rate at which periodontal tissues are destroyed.
Diabetes and Other Systemic Diseases
Diabetes causes the risk factors of many infections to rise, including the risk of gum diseases. Periodontitis can impair the bodys ability to process insulin, which will make it more difficult to control the infection. Any disease that interferes with the bodys immune system can also worse gum conditions.
A diagnosis of periodontal disease will be followed by a dental procedure and treatment plan. The more severe the case of gum disease, the more intensive must be the procedure.
Periodontal surgery may be the best course of action; especially if the tissue around teeth is too unhealthy to heal, and must be surgically cut away from remaining healthy tissue.
There are four surgical procedures that can be performed to eliminate periodontal disease.
Pocket Reduction Procedures
Soft Tissue Grafts
If any of these types of surgery is necessary, it is best to have it done with Laser Periodontal Therapy. This procedure uses a precision, bio-friendly surgical laser to replace metal cutting instruments.
Cosmetic Dentistry is a specialized field that requires extensive knowledge and experience to be done correctly. The Medical Center Dental Group in Houston, Texas brings all of that and more to the direct benefit of each and every patient we treat. Although we are located in the world famous Houston Medical Center at Scurlock Towers, we routinely see dental patients who travel from Austin, San Antonio, Dallas, Beaumont Midland and Houston, Texas to see Dr. Dale Brant, Dr. Charles Campbell or Dr. Elizabeth OSullivan-Winslow for their cosmetic dentistry services.