Do you have questions about your periodontal health or the benefits of implant dentistry? Dr. Gustavo Ruiz and our team are pleased to offer feedback on our patients’ most common questions:

What is periodontal disease?

Periodontal (gum) disease is a chronic infection of the gingival tissue an underlying bone caused by an accumulation of plaque on the teeth. Plaque produces toxins that invade the v-shaped crevice between the gums and teeth, known as the sulcus, which causes the gums and bone to break down, resulting in tooth loss.

Are there different types of gum disease?

Yes, periodontal disease is categorized by the early stage (gingivitis) and the advanced stage (periodontitis). Gum affected by gingivitis become red and swollen, with a tendency to bleed. During periodontitis, teeth can become loose and fall out. We encourage you to practice excellent oral hygiene and visit the dentist regularly to detect any developing signs of periodontal disease.

Am I at risk for gum disease?

Your risk of gum disease can increase with the following factors:

  • Smoking/tobacco use
  • Systematic Systemic diseases (eg, diabetes)
  • Steroids, anti-epilepsy drugs, and other medications
  • Pregnancy
  • Oral contraceptives
  • Worn and ill fitting fillings or bridges
  • Crooked teeth

How do I know if I have gum disease?
The following conditions are common symptoms of gum disease:

  • Red, swollen, tender gums that bleed easily or pull away from the teeth
  • Chronic bad breath or a bad taste in the mouth
  • Loose teeth
  • Change in dental occlusion your bite
  • A change in the fit of your partial dentures

Sometimes, periodontal disease develops without any warning signs, which is why it is so important to visit the dentist regularly and practice excellent dental hygiene.

Is gum disease contagious?

Gum disease is a chronic inflammatory disease and is not contagious. However, some people have a genetic predisposition, and they and their children should be evaluated early to determine if they need treatment. Periodontitis can be transferred from partner to partner among patients who are susceptible to periodontitis because of age, an underlying systemic disease, or certain medications.

Does gum disease affect my general health?

Yes, research has shown that gum disease is linked to many health problems, such as heart disease, increased risk of heart attack, preterm and low birth weight babies, diabetes, and osteoporosis, and it has been linked to an increase in pancreatic cancer in males, usually a fatal disease.

Are dentures and bridges the only option for tooth replacement due to gum disease?

While dentures and dental bridges are excellent options, Periodontal and Implant Esthetics offers dental implants as well, which are more conservative and longer lasting.

Is the amount of jawbone a factor in getting implants?

Not anymore. Advanced bone regeneration technology enables our periodontist to predictably regenerate bone mass to accommodate dental implants.

Will I need to replace my dental implants at some point?

Theoretically, no. Dental implants are designed to be permanent additions to your smile and have the highest percentage of success among dental restorations. However, an implant needs to be replaced on occasion due to fractures, infection, or trauma.

How long will receiving implants take?

The treatment period depends on the complexity of the case, although the placement of implants typically takes only one visit. Cases that require bone regeneration or full oral reconstruction will require more treatment time.

Are dental implants expensive?

Implant treatment has a higher initial investment than bridges or dentures, but is more economical in the long run due to their longevity. Unlike dentures and bridges, implants can prevent bone loss, which means they will not become loose or ill-fitting over time.

If you did not see an answer to your questions, please contact Periodontal and Implant Esthetics at 813-289-3640 today to further information about periodontal FAQs in Tampa, Florida.