Gum Disease & Therapy

At Tower Dental Clinic in Calgary, our dentists help to educate our patients in ways to prevent and treat gum disease.

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What is Gum Disease?

Gum disease, also called periodontal disease, is caused by an infection in the supporting gum tissue. This includes the teeth, gums, gingiva, alveolar bone, cementum, and the periodontal ligament.

Poor oral hygiene, smoking, and certain systemic diseases that enable plaque build-up are all factors that can affect the likelihood of gum disease.

Gum Disease & Your Overall Health

Gum disease affects more than just oral health. Left unchecked, it can cause other serious issues such as:

  • Diabetes
  • Heart disease
  • Stroke

Maintaining a good at-home oral hygiene routine and visiting your dentist regularly are key to preventing gum disease.

Gum Disease, Calgary Dentist

Stages of Gum Disease

Catching gum disease early can be challenging since early symptoms are difficult to detect. Often patients only only become aware of gum disease once it has developed beyond the initial stage.

If left untreated, gum disease will typically progress through the following stages:

Gingivitis

The earliest stage of gum disease is gingivitis. Tender, inflamed, and sometimes bleeding gums due to a build-up of plaque and toxic by-products, are the first signs of gingivitis.

Periodontitis

Plaque gradually hardens over time, and becomes tartar. Plaque and tartar can accumulate and begin to loosen the gums, causing them to recede. Small spaces may then form between the teeth and gums which can fill with bacteria and pus, leading to further inflammation and bleeding. In some cases moderate bone loss may develop.

Advanced Periodontitis

At this advanced stage, tooth support is threatened by the deterioration of the gums, bone, and the periodontal ligament. If advanced periodontitis is left untreated, the teeth affected may become loose and even fall out. More severe bone loss may also occur.

Gum Disease Treatment

Treatment methods for gum disease vary depending on the severity of the condition. Your dentist may recommend preventive therapy if the disease is detected in the earliest stages.

Treatment for more advanced stages of gum disease fall into the following categories:

Non-Surgical Gum Therapy

Mild cases of gum disease can be treated with non-surgical gum therapy. This process is performed by a dental hygienist. Plaque and tartar that has formed around or below the gum line is cleaned and scraped away.  A process known as scaling and root planing will be performed to remove residual plaque from the surface.

Surgical Gum Therapy

Invasive surgical treatments are used to counter the effects of more progressive forms of gum disease. Depending on the condition of the mouth, surgical gum therapies such as flap surgery, guided tissue regeneration, tissue grafting, and bone grafting may be required to restore optimal oral health.

Post-Treatment Maintenance

In order to maintain your progress and prevent any recurrence of gum disease, it's crucial to practice good oral hygiene and preventive measures.

Our team at Tower Dental Clinic advise that you have regular checkups and preventive therapy quarterly after the completion of your gum disease treatment.

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