At Pickering Smiles, our dentists help patients to prevent gingivitis and periodontitis (gum disease), and achieve and maintain healthy gums.
Gum disease is difficult to detect when it first starts to develop, and many patients only begin to notice symptoms when they have progressed past the early stages.
Untreated, gum disease typically progresses in the following stages:
Gingivitis is the first stage of gum disease. Plaque and its toxin by-products irritate the gums, making them tender, inflamed, and likely to bleed.
If left untreated, plaque will harden into tartar. As tartar and plaque continue to build up, they cause the gums to begin to recede from the teeth.
Eventually, pockets form between the gums and teeth, which become filled with bacteria and pus. The gums become irritated, inflamed, and bleed easily. Patients may also experience light to moderate bone loss in the jaw.
The teeth lose more support as the gums, bone, and periodontal ligament continue to deteriorate. Unless treated, the affected teeth will become loose and may even fall out. Patients may also experience moderate to severe bone loss in the jaw.
The dentists at Pickering Smiles offer non-surgical gum therapy for patients with mild gum disease. It is basically is a deep cleaning performed by your dental hygienist where they scrape the plaque and tartar around the gums, and smooth out any rough areas by scaling and root planing.
For patients with more advanced forms of gum disease, more invasive surgical treatments may be necessary and our dentists will refer you to a Periodontist (a dentist who specializes in treating gum disease).
Once your gum therapy is complete, our dentist will recommend that you have regular dental exams, usually four times a year. Good oral hygiene habits and preventive treatments will also help keep your gum disease under control.