Gums play an important part in your oral health - and your body’s overall health, too. Although gum disease is most often preventable,it’s incredibly common. But with proper periodontal therapy, your dental team can treat gum disease before it becomes a more serious health problem.
What Causes Periodontal Disease?
Most often, periodontal, or gum disease, is caused by poor dental hygiene, smoking, or diet. But family history, fluctuations in hormones such as those caused by pregnancy, and chronic illnesses, as well as medication, can all cause the risk of periodontal disease.
You can help to prevent periodontal disease by seeing your dentist twice annually, flossing regularly, brushing your teeth twice a day, and using mouthwash. You can also limit the amount of sugar you have in your diet, and avoid tobacco.
Signs of Gum Disease
Periodontal disease begins when the toxins that are contained in plaque attack the soft tissue that surrounds your teeth, and embed in the gums, causing infection and the formation of pockets. These pockets deepen over time, and without treatment, infection can deepen, too, which causes your jawbone to recede, tooth instability, and bone loss.
But gingivitis, the first stage of gum disease, can be reversed without any surgical intervention. Thorough treatment can slow or put a stop to more advanced stages. Seeking rapid treatment is key.
Signs of gingivitis include:
- Red or swollen gums
- Gums that bleed during or after brushing
- Receding gums
- Chronic bad breath
- Loose teeth
- Sensitive teeth
- Pockets developing between teeth and gums
Treating Gum Disease
Mild to moderate gingivitis cases can be treated with scaling and root planing, a non-surgical technique that cleans the plaque from the surface of the tooth’s root, below the gums and denying bacteria a rough surface to adhere to.
For more severe cases of periodontal disease, surgical treatments may be utilized including gum grafts that protect the root of your tooth when gums have receded a great deal. The Chao Pinhole® Surgical Technique provides a minimally invasive alternative to gum grafting, and is a process that we also use.
We also utilize the LANAP® laser procedure to avoid the use of traditional surgery and sutures, utilizing specialized lasers and techniques to remove bacteria from periodontal pockets in the gum tissue.
Other Periodontal Therapy Treatments
Other therapeutic periodontal treatments include:
- Crown lengthening is commonly used to expose more tooth structure. The crown lengthening process removes some gum tissue and/or bone, exposing more of a tooth’s structure.
- Oral and maxillofacial pathology may be used to adequately address diseases of the mouth and the jaw.
- Regenerative periodontics are surgical processes that regenerate jaw bone and surrounding tissue, protecting your existing teeth and gum tissue from bacterial plaque.
- Dental implants for tooth restoration
Learn more about Periodontal Therapy
Periodontal disease can be prevented through proper dental care, and treated at each stage.
Gingivitis/mild periodontal disease can require deep cleaning, scaling and root planing to remove debris from the pockets and allow healing.
Moderate periodontal disease usually needs more thorough scaling and root planing, one that is usually performed under a local anesthetic.
Advanced periodontal disease is often also accompanied by bone loss and gum recession. So, along with scaling and root planing, a surgical treatment to reduce pocket depth may be recommended.
Tooth loss due to periodontal disease can be successfully treated with implants, bone grafts, or dental bridges, as necessary.
Learn More about Periodontal Therapy
If you’re ready to learn more about periodontal treatment or schedule a consultation, we’re happy to help. Just reach out to us today!