Gum disease, also termed Periodontitis, is a set of inflammatory diseases affecting the periodontium, i.e., the tissues that surround and support the teeth. Periodontitis involves progressive loss of the alveolar bone around the teeth, and if left untreated, can lead to the loosening and subsequent loss of teeth. Periodontitis is caused by microorganisms that adhere to and grow on the tooth's surfaces, along with an over-aggressive immune response against these microorganisms.
The cornerstone of successful periodontal treatment starts with establishing excellent oral hygiene. This includes twice-daily brushing with daily flossing. Persons with periodontitis must realize it is a chronic inflammatory disease and a lifelong regimen of excellent hygiene and professional maintenance care with a dentist/hygienist or periodontist is required to maintain affected teeth.
The first step in the treatment of periodontitis involves nonsurgical cleaning below the gumline with a procedure called scaling and debridement. For some severe cases, periodontal surgery may be needed to stop progressive bone loss and regenerate lost bone where possible. In addition, dentist may give prescription medication for them.
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