It’s a scary but true fact that many adults have at least the beginning stages of periodontal disease – about 47 percent, according to the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention.
Though the condition is common, it is extremely important to stop the disease from progressing in order to prevent serious health consequences. We provide effective treatments that help patients overcome periodontal disease and restore their oral health.
What is periodontal disease?
Periodontal disease, or gum disease, is an infection that affects the teeth, gums, and bones. Teeth are covered with plaque, a film that contains bacteria. The plaque, if not removed by brushing and flossing, can enter the gums and cause infection. This infection can spread and lead to painful gum recession, bleeding, and ultimately tooth loss.
Left untreated, periodontal disease threatens not only the patient’s oral health, but also the health of the overall body. Gum disease has been linked to serious health conditions such as heart attack, stroke, and diabetes.
Diagnosing periodontal disease
Periodontal disease is diagnosed by our dentist or hygienist through a series of tests. First, we will check the depth of the gum pockets between your teeth and gums. Next, we will check for inflammation, bleeding, loose teeth, and bone loss.
Based on our findings, we will determine the stage of your periodontal disease and recommend your treatment.
Stages of periodontal disease
- Gingivitis: the first stage of periodontal disease, characterized by inflamed, tender, bleeding gums, and plaque build-up.
- Periodontitis: the second stage of periodontal disease, characterized by plaque hardening into calculus (tartar), gum recession, deepening gum pockets, and early stages of bone loss.
- Advanced Periodontitis: the final stage of periodontal disease, characterized by destruction of gums, bone, and ligament tissues, loosening and loss of teeth, and more severe bone loss.
What are the signs of periodontal disease?
Signs and symptoms of periodontal disease include:
- Bleeding and/or painful gums
- Redness and swelling
- Bad breath
- Gum recession
- Space between the teeth and gums
- Loose teeth
It is important to see a dentist on a regular basis so that the hygienist can not only remove plaque and tartar, but also be on the lookout for symptoms of gum disease.
How is periodontal disease treated?
Periodontal disease is very treatable, but cannot be fully cured. The most appropriate treatment method will depend on how advanced the gum disease has become.
We can treat gingivitis by ramping up the patient’s oral hygiene, perhaps using an antibacterial mouthwash, and monitoring the condition. With good care, gingivitis is reversible.
Do YOU need periodontal disease treatment (gum disease treatment)?
If the patient’s condition has already progressed to periodontitis, the most effective treatment will likely involve scaling and planing, which cleans between the teeth and gums to remove the infection. An antibiotic treatment may also be prescribed to help clear out the infection. Patients who have advanced gum disease will need to be seen on a regular basis to ensure the condition does not progress.
After the completion of your periodontitis treatment, you will be scheduled for regular ongoing maintenance care. These visits will involve a thorough professional cleaning and monitoring of your oral health to ensure the disease does not recur and progress further.
We recommend scheduling your periodontal maintenance visits and your general dentistry visits on an alternating schedule. This ensures you are receiving the proper care and treatments for your oral health needs in a timely, consistent manner.
Patients who are experiencing symptoms of gum disease can be sure that when they visit Advanced Cosmetic & Family Dentistry, they have access to high quality care and effective treatments that will restore their oral health.