Periodontal Disease Treatment
Here at Dental Arts, we work hard to prevent periodontal disease.
What is Periodontal Disease?
Periodontal disease is also known as gum disease or periodontitis. It is very common in adults. This is a serious condition that involves an infection of the gum tissues resulting from the bacteria found in dental plaque. If left untreated, periodontal disease can lead to bone and toothless, and the disease has been found to have connections to other conditions such as diabetes, heart disease, and strokes.
What causes periodontal disease?
Gum disease is often the result of improper or insufficient oral hygiene that fails to remove bacteria from below the gum line. This is why it’s important to brush and floss using proper technique.
Other factors can determine whether or not you are likely to get gum disease as well. These include the changes in hormones during puberty or pregnancy, and your metabolism. As the saliva in your mouth can help protect you against gum disease, certain medical conditions or medications that alter this can also influence your likelihood to get gum disease.
Gum disease isn’t just a threat to your teeth. Your oral health has significant ties to the overall well-being of your body, which is why periodontal disease shouldn’t be ignored
There are early signs that may help you spot gum disease while it’s still in the early gingivitis phase, or Dr. Cris or Dr. Phil may diagnose the disease during an exam and recommend treatment.
Diagnosis of Periodontal Disease
What are the signs of gum disease?
Early on, gum disease starts as gingivitis. You can typically recognize this early stage from swollen or red gums that bleed when you brush or floss your teeth. Gingivitis can be treated and reversed, so it is important to catch it while it is still in this early stage.
As gingivitis progresses into periodontal disease, you will begin to experience tooth sensitivity as the gums begin to recede away from the teeth. Gum recession results in gum pockets which can trap food and bacteria, worsening the problem.
How is gum disease diagnosed?
Looking for the warning signs of gum disease is always a part of your regular exam with our office. We’ll also check your medical history to spot any of the factors that may cause you to be more likely to develop periodontal disease, such as smoking, or medications that cause dry mouth.
If gum pockets are present, the depth of these pockets will be measured and charted. Pockets over 3mm in depth are usually a sign of periodontitis.
Your regular dental X-rays are also useful in looking for gum disease, as they may show any bone loss that may occur in the areas where you have gum pockets.
Treatment options are available, so if you have any of the warning signs and suspect you may have gum disease, schedule an appointment with our office for a checkup.
Periodontal Disease Treatment
Periodontal disease, or gum disease, is a serious oral condition that needs to be attended to. Not only can it put you at risk for tooth and bone loss, but medical research has also found increasing evidence that many other medical conditions can be linked to, or further complicated by periodontal disease.
The best way to deal with periodontitis is not to get it at all. For those with gingivitis, the earliest stage of gum disease, revisiting their home care technique with one of our hygienists can help get their oral hygiene routine back on track, and reverse the disease before it progresses. In some cases, you may be asked to use an antibacterial gel or oral antibiotics to treat the disease.
For those who have been diagnosed with a more serious case of gum disease, Dental Arts of Ellet and Dental Arts of Wadsworth have treatments available. These include non-surgical and surgical options, depending on the severity of your periodontal disease. In all cases, the goal of treatment is to prevent bone loss and further damage, by removing bacteria and tartar from below the gum line and helping your gums heal.
In cases where periodontal disease hasn’t advanced too far, a non-surgical procedure known as scaling and root planing is typically recommended. This involves clearing away plaque and tartar from tooth root surfaces and smoothing them to make it harder for buildup to occur again.
LANAP is another non-surgical treatment option that uses a laser to help regenerate the tissues and bone that have been lost due to gum disease.
Some surgical treatments for more advanced cases of periodontitis include gum recession treatments, bone grafting, and gum grafting.
Once treated for gum disease, it’s recommended that you return to our office regularly for periodontal maintenance appointments which will help control your periodontal disease and prevent the problem from reoccurring.
If you have noticed that your gums are red or swollen, or if there is bleeding when you brush or floss, you may have gum disease. Contact our office to schedule an appointment with Dr. Cris or Dr. Phil to assess the condition of your gums and learn what treatment options can help.
Gum Recession Treatment
What is gum recession?
Gum recession is a common result of periodontal disease. Though it affects between 4% to 12% of the population, it tends to be such a gradual process that people often don’t notice it happening.
Gum recession is when periodontal disease damages the gums, bone, and connective tissue surrounding a tooth that the gums themselves begin to pull away from the tooth, exposing the root. Not only does this change the appearance of the teeth, but it also results in sensitivity to hot and cold, and reduces the gums’ defenses against trauma and further infection.
If the gum disease behind the gum recession is left untreated, the tissue will continue to recede to the point where tooth loss may result.
How can gum recession be treated?
Treating gum recession involves a two-pronged approach–addressing the underlying periodontal disease and taking measures to reverse or halt the gum recession process.
For patients in the early stages of gum recession, making changes to their home oral care routine can often help reverse the condition. Adopting proper brushing techniques, using a soft-bristled toothbrush, and consistently flossing can improve oral hygiene and contribute to gum health.
When gums have receded enough to form periodontal pockets greater than 3mm, more comprehensive treatment may be necessary. Periodontal scaling and root planing is a common treatment for early-stage gum recession. For more advanced cases, non-surgical treatments such as LANAP laser treatment are an option to help regenerate bone and tissues. In severe cases, gingival (or gum) grafting may be required to address the damage caused by gum disease.
What is a periodontal maintenance appointment?
For those who have been treated for gum disease, it will likely be recommended that you come to our office for regular periodontal maintenance appointments. These appointments are typically done 3 to 4 times a year as the 2 to 3 times a year for regular cleanings.
You may wonder what the difference is between these two types of appointments.
The short version is that a professional cleaning, known as prophylaxis, is preventative care. Periodontal maintenance is a treatment.
Prophylaxis is done in cases where the teeth are healthy—there is no bone loss, infection around the teeth, or bleeding. Your dental hygienist will remove soft plaque, tartar, and stains from the portion of your teeth that is above the gum line, and only slightly below.
Those with periodontal disease can have tartar accumulating in gum pockets that extend more than 4mm below the gum line, exposing surfaces of the tooth root. For a periodontal maintenance appointment, your hygienist will remove this tartar and plaque further down to the tooth, to the point where the root, gum, and bone meet. Rough areas of the tooth may be smoothed to help prevent future accumulation of plaque, and, if necessary, the gum pockets may be irrigated with antibacterial medication. During these appointments, the depth of your gum pockets will be checked and recorded.
Periodontal maintenance is important to help continue to keep your gums healthy and prevent periodontal disease from worsening.