Check us out on YouTube as we talk teeth #watchyourmouthSpanish
Check us out on YouTube as we talk teeth #watchyourmouthSpanish

Can GUM DISEASE be Cured Symptoms, Oral Hygiene, & Treatment

Hi, I’m Dr. Brett Langston, I’m a prosthodontist and owner of Dental Implant and Aesthetic Specialist here in Brookhaven, Georgia, and I’m here to help you watch your mouth. Today we’re here to talk about gum disease. You might be wondering, can it be cured? Well, I’m here to tell you that it can, and I’m going to give you some tips on how to do that. 

The Basics of Gingivitis and Periodontal Disease

So gum disease is the common term for gingivitis or periodontal disease. So gingivitis is just simply the inflammation of the gum tissue, and that’s a result of plaque and bacteria accumulating on the tooth surface. So gingivitis is caused by the gum tissue being swollen and irritated because there’s plaque attached to the tooth surface. 

Plaque: The Primary Culprit

And plaque is just basically the gunk that the mouth makes, that builds up. It’s an acidic material that will attack tooth structure, and it’s basically a substrate of the food you eat combined with the bacteria in your mouth.  They get together and they make this kind of a sticky film that sticks to the teeth. 

The Formation and Impact of Calculus

If you’ve ever gone a couple days without brushing your teeth, while that’s really gross, that kind of gross film on your teeth, that’s the start of plaque. And the problem is, if you don’t remove that, the tissue gets really angry. And on top of that, the saliva in your mouth has a high concentration of calcium and other particles that when combined with a plaque, if they don’t get cleaned off, can attach the tooth and form what’s called calculus. And so calculus is basically also called tartar sometimes is a hard crystalline structure that’s attached to the teeth. And the problem is your body doesn’t like that. And so if you’ve got that hard crystalline structure attached to the teeth below the gumline, your body doesn’t know how to get rid of it. 

So what it does is it actually causes the bone and the tissue to drop down to give you access to clean that. But the problem, it’s a never ending cycle. If you leave that calculus attached to the teeth, that bone and that tissue is going to keep dropping and dropping to the point where eventually the tooth gets loose. If the tooth gets loose enough and you lose enough bone, you can lose the tooth. Whether that means coming to see us, so we can take it out in a nice control manner. Or you’re out to eat dinner with your friends and all of a sudden you’ve got a tooth in your hand. Either way, this is something that can be prevented by proper home care. Staying on top of your home care regimen. Good job brushing, good job flossing, mouth rinses. These are all things that will remove that plaque layer and help remove that calculus. 

Regular Dental Visits for Optimal Oral Health

It’s also important to see your dental team on a regular basis. Getting in to see us every six months allows us to reach those areas where you can’t quite see. And also, it’s a good time for your hygienist to say, Hey, this is the spot you’re missing. Your home care is really good everywhere else. Make sure you take care of this because we’re seeing a buildup of plaque or calculus periodontists, like my wife, absolutely love getting in there and removing that calculus because when you free that tissue, the body does a really good job of reattaching the tissue and protecting everything again. So when you hear calculus, don’t be scared. We’re not going back to high school math. Calculus is just the formation of a hard crystal and structure onto the tooth surface. I’m Dr. Brett Langston, and I’m here to help you watch your mouth.