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Periodontal Care

Periodontal Care

What is Periodontal Disease?

Periodontal disease is the leading cause of tooth loss in adults. If left untreated this serious gum and bone infection of the teeth can lead to tooth loss, along with surrounding gum tissue; including the jaw bone.

Causes of Periodontal Disease

The main cause of periodontal disease is bacterial plaque, a sticky, colorless film that constantly forms on your teeth. However, several factors contribute to the risk of periodontal disease.

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1. Smoking/Tobacco Use

It is a widely accepted fact that tobacco use is linked with many serious illnesses such as cancer, lung disease and heart disease, as well as numerous other health problems. What you may not know is that tobacco users are also at an increased risk for periodontal disease. In fact, recent studies have shown that tobacco use may be one of the most significant risk factors in the development and progression of periodontal disease.

2. Genetics

Research proves that up the 30% of the population may be genetically susceptible to gum disease. Despite aggressive oral care habits, these people may be six times more likely to develop periodontal disease. Identifying these people with genetic testing before signs of the disease become apparent and receiving early treatment may play an important role in keeping their teeth healthy for a lifetime.

3. Pregnancy and Puberty

Brushing and flossing daily, a healthy diet and regular exercise are all important to living a healthy lifestyle and staying in shape. During puberty, menstruation, pregnancy or menopause, a woman requires special health needs as the body experiences hormonal changes. These changes can affect the tissues of body; including the gums. The gums can become sensitive and react strongly to hormonal fluctuations, causing a woman to become more susceptible to gum disease. Additionally, recent studies suggest that pregnant women with gum disease are seven times more likely to deliver preterm, low birth weight babies.

4. Stress

Stress is linked to many serious conditions such as hypertension, cancer and numerous other health problems. What you may not know is that stress is also a risk factor for periodontal disease. Research demonstrates that stress can make it more difficult for the body to fight off infection, including periodontal diseases.

5. Medication

Drugs such as oral contraceptives, anti-depressants and certain heart medicines can affect oral health. In the same way you notify your pharmacist and other health care providers of all the medications you are taking, and any changes in your overall health, you should also inform your dental care provider of such information.

6. Clenching or Grinding of the Teeth

Clenching or grinding the teeth can put excessive force on the supporting tissues of the teeth and may speed up the rate at with these periodontal tissues deteriorate. If you feel tension or tightness in the jaws after sleeping or in a high stress situation, special attention must be paid to facilitate this condition.

7. Diabetes

Diabetes is a disease that causes altered levels of sugar in the blood. Diabetes develops from either a deficiency in insulin production (a hormone that is the key component of the body's ability to use blood sugars) or the body's inability to use insulin correctly. According to the American Diabetes Association, approximately 16 million Americans have diabetes. However, more than half of those with diabetes have not been diagnosed. Those that are diabetic are at higher risk for developing infections, including periodontal disease. The infection caused by the disease can impair the ability to process and/or utilize insulin, which may cause the diabetes to become more difficult to control and the infection to be more sever than a non-diabetic.

8. Poor Nutrition

P   eriodontal disease is a serious infection, poor nutrition can worsen the condition of the gums.

9. Other Systematic Diseases

Disease that interferes with the body's immune system may worsen the conditions of the gums.


Bleeding, itching gums and inflammation are some of the symptoms of typical periodontal disease. As the diseases develop, one can feel pain of the teeth while chewing, as well as a loose, shaky feeling which leads to tooth loss. Though periodontal disease may seem to have no severe symptoms at first, unattended, the infection can become very serious with time.



The most common and the mildest types of periodontal disease. It causes the gums to become red and swollen, as well as bleed easily. Because there is only little discomfort at this stage, the symptoms are frequently ignored.


Usually occurs among the age of 40. It takes place where the infection is in periodontal tissue (gum tissue) and jawbone.

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Chronic Periodontitis

It is a result of inflammation along with supporting tissues of the teeth, progressive attachment and bone loss. It is characterized by pocket formation and/or recession of gum. If untreated may lead to teeth loss.

Treatment of Periodontal Disease

If you are diagnosed with periodontal disease, Dr. Shin may recommend gum treatment including Scaling & Root Planning or Periodontal Surgery (Gum Surgery). Periodontal surgery is necessary if it is determined that the tissue around the teeth are unhealthy and cannot be repaired with nonsurgical treatment alone. The following are the four types of surgical treatments most commonly performed.

Pocket Depth Reduction (Osseous Surgery)

The bone and gum tissue should fit snugly around the teeth, like a turtleneck around your neck. For those diagnosed with periodontal disease, the supporting tissue and bone is destroyed forming 'pockets' around the teeth. Over time these pockets become deeper, providing a larger space for bacteria to live. As bacteria develops around the teeth, they can accumulate and advance under the gum tissue. These deep pockets collect even more noxious bacteria resulting in further bone and tissue loss. Eventually, if too much bone is lost, the teeth will need to be extracted or comes out by itself with severe infection. If Dr. Shin has measured the depth of the pocket(s) and deems it necessary, a pocket reduction procedure is recommended because the depth of the pockets cannot be fixed with daily at-home oral hygiene. During this procedure, Dr. Shin will fold back the gum tissue and removes the disease causing bacteria before securing the tissue back into place. In some cases, irregular surfaces of the damaged bone are smoothed to limit areas where disease-causing bacteria can hide. This allows the gum tissue to better reattach to healthy bone.

What are the Benefits of this Procedure?

Reducing pocket depth and eliminating existing bacteria are important to prevent damage caused by the progression of periodontal disease and to help maintain a healthy smile. Eliminating bacteria alone may not be sufficient to prevent disease recurrence. It is important fthat a patient has deep pockets reduced. Reduced pockets with a combination of daily oral hygiene and professional maintenance care can increase your chances of keeping your natural teeth and decrease the chance of serious health problems associated with periodontal disease.

Alpine Regeneration

Dr. Shin may recommend a regenerative procedure when the bone supporting the teeth has been destroyed. These procedures can reverse some of the damage by regenerating lost bone and tissue. During this procedure, all the calculus (disease-causing bacteria) will be removed before the regeneration treatment. Once the surgical area is clean, the damaged tissue can be repaired by adding a graft; such as membranes, bone grafts or tissue stimulating proteins. This encourages your body’s natural ability to regenerate bone and tissue. There are many options to enhance support for your teeth and to restore your bone to a healthy level. Dr. Shin will discuss your best options with you.

What are the benefits of this procedure?

Eliminating existing bacteria and regenerating the bone and tissue helps to reduce pocket depth and repair damage caused by the progression of periodontal disease. A combination of daily oral hygiene, along with professional maintenance, will increase the chances of keeping your natural teeth and decrease the chances of serious health problems associated with periodontal disease.

Before & After Picture:
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Essex Periodontics is dedicated in giving a highest quality of dental care for the whole family. From the initial consultation and beyond.

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