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Gum Diseases

Beginnings of Periodontitis?

05/05/2011

Question:

I recently had a checkup in which my dentist said everything as fine but there was a little build up of plaque on my bottom teeth - I have a fixed retainer on them and to see the hygienist. However, once I wasn`t thinking this would be a big problem but he said that there was the beginnings of periodontitis on one of my teeth at the bottom front. And to start using a larger floss (tepe) brush than I had been previously using that they recommended. Since using this floss brush, it has create a small `hole` so that the tip of the gum, (upside down v shape) is not longer there and the gum in between the teeth is flat and there is quite a gap at the top. Is this something to be concerned about? As it`s a larger gap and the gum obviously wont `grow` back.. I am seeing the hygienist again for them to see the progress but this is not for another few months yet.

Answer:

The last time you were seen, the hygienist probably removed plaque and calculus and performed some subgingival scaling to remove debris from your root surfaces. Since you already have the beginnings of periodontitis, your dentist is noticing some bone loss in this area. The procedure already performed eliminates inflammation/infection from the site and soft tissue swelling goes away.

The gap that you are noticing is due to your gums recessing down to where your current bone level is. The gap will be there unless you have further periodontal therapy (surgical treatment with a periodontist) and changing the bridge work that you currently have. I recommend you seeing a periodontist for consultation.

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Response by:

Binnaz   Leblebicioglu, DDS, MS, PhD Binnaz Leblebicioglu, DDS, MS, PhD
Associate Professor of Periodontology
College of Dentistry
The Ohio State University