Posts for tag: periodontal disease

By Carey & Aylward, DDS, PC
December 31, 2020
Category: Dental Procedures

Find out how to get gum disease under control.

The problem with gum disease is that it often doesn’t cause symptoms until it’s become more advanced. This makes gum disease a problem, as it can cause a lot of damage in the interim. How do you fix that? By keeping up with routine checkups with your Westland, MI dentists Dr. Dennis Aylward and Dr. Brent Carey. Changes in your gums may be subtle at first, and the warning signs that you may have gingivitis (the earliest stage of gum disease) are bleeding, tender, red and swollen gums.

If you notice bleeding gums, especially when brushing or flossing, then you should come in for an evaluation. If gums are sore, tender to the touch, or red (healthy gums should always remain pink) these are also indicators that bacteria are present within the gums. To prevent the problem from getting worse it’s a good idea to visit with a dental professional who can recommend proper at-home care techniques and products, as well as simple treatments and solutions to reverse gingivitis.

Signs of Periodontitis
If gingivitis is ignored, or if you don’t notice symptoms, it will eventually progress into periodontitis (full-blown gum disease). At this point, you may start to notice other changes to your gums besides the symptoms above. These symptoms may include,

  • Receding gums (as the gums pull away from the teeth your teeth may suddenly appear longer than usual)
  • Persistent and unexplainable bad breath
  • Gaps between the gums and teeth
  • Changes in the way your teeth fit together
  • Changes in the way your dentures fit
  • Pus in the gums
  • Loose teeth

If left untreated gum disease is the number one cause of tooth loss in adults. This is why it’s so important to take this oral disease seriously. Everyone should come in twice a year for routine cleanings, where we will check the health of your gums to look for pockets of infection that are telltale indicators of gum disease. By coming in twice a year, and maintaining good oral hygiene, you can greatly reduce your risk for gum disease.

Treating Gum Disease
One of the standard ways our Westland, MI, family dentists treat mild to moderate forms of gum disease is with a deep cleaning known as scaling and root planing, which involves removing tartar and plaque from along the gums, as well as below the gums and the roots of the teeth. We even smooth the roots down to make it a less hospitable environment for tartar to build up. Those with more advanced forms of gum disease may require laser or traditional surgery in order to remove diseased tissue, to treat the pockets of infection within the gums and to fix receding gums.

If you are noticing bleeding gums or other signs of gum disease, it’s important that you turn to our Westland, MI, dentists for immediate care. Call Carey & Aylward today at (734) 425-9130.

By Carey & Aylward, DDS, PC
November 18, 2019
Category: Dental Procedures

Periodontal disease is a common problem for American adults. According to the American Academy of Periodontology and the Centers for periodontal-diseaseDisease Control and Prevention (CDC), over 60 million American adults aged 30 and up have advanced gum disease (periodontitis). Prevention and early intervention is the best line of defense against periodontal disease, which can lead to a number of oral health problems and tooth loss if left untreated. Our dentists provide comprehensive gum disease prevention and treatment services in Westland, MI.

Periodontal Disease Prevention and Treatment Services in Westland, MI

There are several stages to periodontal disease:

  • Gingivitis
  • Periodontitis
  • Advanced periodontitis

Gum disease is progressive, meaning that it gets worse over time, so catching it early is the best way to prevent permanent damage to your gums and connective tissue. The first stage is gingivitis, which is most recognizable by red, swollen gums and bleeding when you brush and floss your teeth. If left untreated gingivitis can become periodontitis over time, but if you get treatment early enough gingivitis is reversible and doesn't cause lasting damage.

Periodontitis and advanced periodontitis can lead to damage to the connective tissue and bone in your gums. Over time, pockets form between teeth and gum tissue which attract bacteria. Another common side effect of advanced periodontitis is bone loss and tooth loss in extreme cases.

The best way to protect yourself from periodontal disease is to go to the dentist every six months for a check up and cleaning. You also need to practice good oral hygiene, eat a healthy diet with adequate fruits and vegetables, and avoid smoking and drinking alcohol in excess. Schedule an appointment with your dentist if you notice the following symptoms:

  • Bright red gums
  • Swollen/puffy or tender gums
  • Bleeding when you brush and floss
  • Gum recession
  • Noticeable pockets between teeth and gums
  • Changes to your bite pattern
  • Loose teeth
  • Persistent bad breath
  • Signs of infection like pus


Find a Dentist in Westland, MI

Periodontal disease may be prevalent but it's not inevitable. For more information about what you can do to prevent gum disease, or for treatment options if you're exhibiting symptoms, contact our office today by calling (734) 425-9130 to schedule an appointment with one of our dentists today.

By Carey & Aylward, DDS, PC
November 01, 2018
Category: Oral Health

Periodontal (gum) disease is a serious matter. Not only can it wreak havoc with your gums, it could also cause bone loss in the jaw that supports your teeth.

Gum disease is a bacterial infection that originates from a thin film of food particles on tooth surfaces called plaque. If you're not diligent about removing plaque through daily brushing and flossing, it can become a feeding ground for certain strains of bacteria that trigger gum infections. Left untreated, the disease can advance deeply into the teeth's supporting structures.

We're particularly concerned about furcations, the specific locations where multiple roots of a tooth fork or separate. When these locations become infected we call it a furcation involvement or invasion. The bone along the furcation will begin to deteriorate and dissolve, following a progression of stages (or classes) we can measure by probing the gum tissue or through x-ray evaluation:

  • Class I: the furcation feels like a groove, but without any noticeable bone loss;
  • Class II: a depression of about two or more millimeters develops indicating definite bone loss;
  • Class III:  bone loss now extends from one side of the root to the other, also known as “through and through.”

Treating furcation involvements can prove challenging because the infection is usually well below the gum line (sub-gingival). As with all gum disease treatment, our primary approach is to remove all plaque and calculus (hardened plaque deposits) where we find it, including around the roots. We typically use specially shaped instruments to clean the root surfaces. We can also employ an ultrasonic device that loosens plaque and calculus with high-frequency vibrations and flushed away with water.

Sometimes, we may need to surgically access involved furcations to clean them and stimulate bone growth with grafting. We can also use surgery to make the areas easier to clean — both for you and for us during your regular office cleanings — to prevent reoccurrences of infection.

Of course, preventing gum disease in the first place is your best defense against oral problems like furcation bone loss. Be sure you brush and floss every day, and visit us for thorough cleanings at least twice a year (unless we recommend more). This will help make sure not only your gums, but the bone that supports your teeth stays healthy.

If you would like more information on treating periodontal (gum) disease, please contact us or schedule an appointment for a consultation. You can also learn more about this topic by reading the Dear Doctor magazine article “What are Furcations?