Ottawa, ON – Dr. Pamela Li, an Ottawa cosmetic dentistry provider, has extensive experience identifying and caring for gum disease, also called periodontal disease. Li notes that many dental patients don’t comprehend the causes of and treatments for gum disease very well. But, periodontal disease is a very grave condition and is the primary cause of tooth loss in Canada.
Gum disease’s first stage is gingivitis, characterized by the accumulation of plaque, which allows the build-up of bacteria and inflames the gums, sometimes causing them bleed during brushing or flossing. If gingivitis is not properly treated, it will develop into periodontitis, a far more serious type of gum disease. Periodontitis causes the gum to retract from the teeth, developing little pockets that accumulate debris and get infected. Plaque sometimes spreads beneath the gum line. The plaque’s bacteria contain toxins which cause the disintegration of the bone and tissues holding the teeth in place. As the pockets deepen, more bone is damaged. Finally the patient’s teeth start to loosen and fall out, says the Ottawa dental care practitioner.
Periodontitis causes additional problems beyond tooth loss. Low birth weight babies have been linked to gum disease in pregnant women. Bacteria in the gums can also spread throughout the body, leading to other infections. Gum disease is also a risk factor associated with heart disease and strokes. Diabetic patients must be careful about dental care since they have an enhanced risk of contracting gum disease. “Other risk factors include: poor oral hygiene, certain medications, smoking, and a family history of periodontal disease,” notes Li, an Ottawa Invisalign provider.
The gingivitis stage can be treated and reversed with careful oral hygiene, including thorough brushing and daily flossing. At routine cleanings, the dentist’ staff will clean above and below the gum line to eradicate plaque and tartar – plaque that solidifies on the tooth’s surface. The only way to remove tartar is with a professional cleaning. “With patients who have serious or chronic gum disease, I advise cleanings more frequently than twice a year. That helps us monitor and manage the condition,” observes Li, an Ottawa teeth cleaning provider. If a dentist discovers plaque or tartar beneath the gums, he or she might also recommend deeper scaling and root planing, which are non-surgical processes for scraping away plaque and smoothing rough spots on the tooth root.
Li, an Ottawa general dentist, cares for periodontal disease with the most conservative and least invasive treatments available. “I frequently utilize Arestin, an antibacterial powder that is positioned in localized deep periodontal pockets. It is released gradually – over 21 days – into the gum pocket,” says Li, an Ottawa smile makeover dentist. “I also use a diode laser – the light energy decreases inflammation and enhances healing.”
“If a patient hears me say ‘periodontal disease, he or she often envisions expensive, painful, and time consuming surgery,” explains Li, an Ottawa dental crown provider. “It doesn’t have to be like that, however. We have lots of ways to treat periodontitis that minimize a patient’s discomfort and inconvenience.”
About Dr. Pamela Li
Ottawa dentist Dr. Pamela Li provides an array of dental services that meet your needs all in one convenient location. Dr. Li also treats patients with TMJ problems, snoring and sleep apnea.
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