What is Periodontal Disease?
Periodontal disease, also known as gum disease, is caused by a buildup of a sticky film of bacteria, called plaque, which collects on the surface of the teeth. In time, plaque hardens into tarter or calculus - a tough, gritty substance that can be removed only by professional cleaning.
When calculus builds up over time - due to improper brushing, infrequent visits to the dental professional, or other factors - the gums can become infected. Eventually, the disease can break down the tiny fibers and bone that connect your teeth to your jaw. In the past, the only therapy for periodontal disease was to try to stop the disease from progressing, and hope it was not too late to save your teeth.
Now, we have several treatment modalities available that can aid us in regenerating lost bone and gum tissue around previously diseased teeth. Typically, this involves using biologic agents such as Enamel Matrix Derivatives and Platelet Derived Growth Factors. You can read more about this in the Guided Tissue Regeneration section.