Periodontal Therapy: An Overview
Gum disease is a common dental concern that affects many of our patients. Gum disease can lead to tooth loss or larger health concerns if left untreated. Your gums play a major role in your overall health, so it’s important to resolve all issues with your gums as soon as possible. That’s why Laurel Smiles Dental Care offers periodontal therapy as a means of restorative dentistry for your gums.
The Stages of Gum Disease
This is the first stage of gum disease, and the only one that’s reversible. Plaque builds up at the gum line and irritates the sodt tissue. Many adults have this because the signs and symptoms are so mild. It’s typically painless, and the best way to tell you have it is if your gums are bleeding frequently when brushing your teeth. Usually, this stage can be treated with proper oral hygiene or an antibacterial rinse. If you notice your gums bleeding, contact us immediately. We want to treat this before it progresses further.
Mild Periodontal Disease
At this stage, it can no longer be reversed. The infection progresses and starts to eat away at your bone structure. Bone loss starts at this stage. However, we can manage the infection even if we can’t reverse it. Scaling and root planing treatment is used at this stage. We clean out the gum pockets that are filled with debris and bacteria. Then, we smooth down the tooth roots so that the gums can reattach to the bone.
Moderate Periodontal Disease
The bacteria continue to get more aggressive in this stage. The bacteria not only attack the bone, but they get into the bloodstream as well. The infection and inflammation circulate throughout the body and cause issues in other areas. Like mild periodontal disease, we manage this stage with scaling and root planing.
Severe Periodontal Disease
At this stage, the infection completely evolves into disease-causing bacteria. Your gums will swell and ooze pus. It is very painful to bite or chew, and you have extremely bad breath. Chances are, the infection is causing other problems throughout your body. When it gets to this point, only gum surgery or laser gum therapy can manage it. Without treatment, you’re at risk of losing teeth and large amounts of bone.
Gum Disease Treatment in Laurel, MD
As your trusted dentist in Laurel, MD, we look forward to answering any of your questions regarding gum disease. We believe an informed patient is a healthy patient. Here are our most commonly asked questions regarding our periodontal therapy services:
What are the warning signs of gum disease?
Many people may not even be aware they have gum disease. This is why every dentist screens for it at regular checkups. If you suffer from any of the following symptoms, please schedule a visit with one of our dentists:
Red, swollen or sore gums
- Bleeding gums
- Receding gums
- Sores or pus between gums and teeth
- Persistent bad breath (halitosis)
- Changes in the fit of a dental appliance such as dentures
What types of periodontal therapy are available?
Your dentist can suggest several treatment options to restore your infected tissue. Scaling and root planing is a procedure that allows us to clean deep into your tooth sockets. It is vital to remove all the plaque and tartar from your tooth’s surface. Laser dentistry allows us to remove infected tissue.
We may prescribe antibacterial rinses and antibiotics to prevent the infection from returning. Your dentist will consult with you on which method of periodontal therapy is best for you. Additionally, we offer many restorative dentistry treatments to correct any damage incurred by the disease.
Gum Disease Treatment FAQs
What causes gum disease?
Gum disease is a result of excessive bacteria building up around the gums, eventually leading to an infection. This often shows up as gingivitis, or bleeding gums, before advancing to gum disease. A dentist will need to remove plaque that hardens, or tartar, to prevent gingivitis from progressing to gum disease. If left untreated, gum disease eats away at your gums and jawbone.
How can I prevent gum disease?
The best way to prevent gum disease is to see your family dentist regularly. Our office recommends a dental check-up every six months to ensure your smile is healthy and free of gum disease. Professional dental cleanings also help remove plaque and tartar build-up before your gums become infected. You should also practice good dental hygiene outside the dentist’s office to prevent gum disease. This includes brushing at least twice daily, flossing at least once a day, and using toothpaste with fluoride.
Can gum disease lead to tooth loss?
Yes, once you have severe periodontal disease, you will likely suffer from tooth loss. This stage of gum disease is called periodontitis. Here, the inflammation and infection are so severe, that patients begin to see signs of bone loss in the jaw and their teeth are loose and will eventually fall out or require extraction.
Can gum disease affect overall health?
Gum disease can have a serious effect on your overall health if it is left untreated. There is a serious link between gum disease and systemic conditions like heart disease, diabetes, stroke, and respiratory issues. The bacterial infection that is present is capable of entering the bloodstream and causing harm to other organs and functions in the body. Timely treatment of gum disease is important to avoiding these types of serious medical problems. Also, proper oral hygiene is crucial for your oral health and your overall health.
What is scaling and root planing?
This is a type of gum disease treatment that your dentist will recommend to treat gum disease. With scaling, your dentist will remove plaque and tartar from the tooth surfaces and below the gumline using special tools. Root planing is where they smooth out the teeth roots to prevent bacterial growth and help the gums reattach to the teeth. It eliminates the infection, reduces inflammation, and promotes gum tissue healing.
Will I need antibiotics if I have gum disease?
In some cases, antibiotics can help treat gum disease. It will target and eliminate the bacteria that is responsible for the infection in the gums. Your dentist can prescribe it in various forms like oral antibiotics, rinses, or topical gels. We often use antibiotics in conjunction with other gum disease treatments to help control infection, reduce inflammation, and promote the healing of gum tissues.
Can I reverse gum disease on my own?
If you are in the beginning stage of gum disease, gingivitis, it is possible to reverse or improve your gum disease with a strict oral hygiene routine at home. This includes regular teeth brushing, flossing, and using an antimicrobial mouthwash. On the other hand, if you suffer from advanced gum disease, periodontitis, you will need professional dental intervention.
Our goal is to restore your smile and leave your gums as good as new so that you don’t have to live with the negative consequences of gum disease. Schedule an appointment with our team today, or call us at 301-200-1315 with any questions you have regarding gum disease.