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Gingivitis is a common disease caused by bacteria in the plague, where the gums become inflamed, red and swollen, and easily bleed. The process is reversible if treated on time. This required good dental hygiene; brushing, flossing and regular dental visits.
When left untreated, gingivitis contributes to periodontal disease. Bacterial toxins
in the plague progress downward and weaken bone structure. As the disease progresses, teeth become loose and at some point permanent loss becomes inevitable. Common risk factors include smoking, systemic diseases, medications, genetic susceptibility and poor hygiene.
Through a team approach that includes the patient, hygienist, periodontist and general dentist, the progression of gingivitis and periodontal disease can be stopped. Scaling and root planning (deep cleaning) removes bacteria that promote the disease. Laser treatment is available. Medications may be used with treatment that include scaling and root planning (with both topical and oral antibiotics).
If scaling and root planning are not effective, flap surgery is performed. In this process, gums are cut open to remove tartar deposits and bacteria in deeper pockets. Also, bone and tissue graphs can be used in conjunction with surgery as a regenerative procedure to promote bone growth.
Periodontal maintenance is very important. According to studies done at Columbia University's College of Dental Medicine, non-treated periodontal disease can lead to atherosclerosis and heart disease, stroke, premature birth, respiratory diseases, and diabetes can be for difficult to control.