Periodontal Therapy An Overview
The Centers for Disease Control and Prevention estimates that half of Americans 30 or older have periodontitis.
Many patients who visit our Greenwood family dentistry near Indianapolis fall within a spectrum of periodontal disease, ranging from an inflammation of the gums (gingivitis) to a chronic disease of the gums and bone (periodontitis). Gum disease can affect children and adult patients and is commonly caused by a lack of diligent oral hygiene. Brushing, flossing, and visiting our dentist in Greenwood biannually are essential for keeping your gums healthy.
Signs & Symptoms of Gum Disease
It is common to experience little or no symptoms or obvious signs of gum disease until it has progressed and spread. As gum disease progresses, the gums become inflamed and pull away from the teeth. Patients often experience bleeding gums, shifting of teeth, or even tooth loss. For this reason, regular visits to the dentist are best for preventing and managing gum disease.
Common signs of gum disease include:
- Red, swollen or sore gums
- Bleeding gums
- Receding gums
- Loose teeth
- Mouth sores or pus between gums and teeth
- Bad breath (halitosis)
- Changes in the fit of dentures
Periodontitis, the more advanced form of gum disease, is a leading dental and systemic health concern. Treating gum disease in the earliest stage (gingivitis) is ideal for preventing secondary health concerns from developing.
Gum Disease May Increase Risk Of:
- Cardiovascular disease
- Heart Attacks
Gum disease can progress quickly and spread to the bloodstream, affecting the health of your entire being. Patients with advanced gum disease are more prone to a wide range of health conditions.
The Stages of Gum Disease
This is the first stage of gum disease and the only one that you can reverse. It comes from poor oral hygiene, usually alongside a sugary diet. Bacteria and food particles build up along the gumline, causing irritation and inflammation to the soft tissue. This filmy layer is called plaque. The longer it’s left go, the more harm it can cause. It eventually evolves into tartar, which is even harder to remove.
Many adults suffer from gingivitis because they don’t know the warning signs. None of them are painful in earlier stages, making it harder to notice. The main thing to watch out for is bleeding gums. If you notice this happening regularly when you brush your teeth, call your dentist. Diligent oral healthcare and antibiotic mouthwashes can help reverse gingivitis.
Mild Periodontal Disease
At this stage, gum disease can no longer be reversed. The bacteria become more aggressive and start attacking bone structure. Pockets of bacteria and debris form between the gum tissue and bone. Scaling and root planing manage the condition at this stage. We clean out the gum pockets that have formed and smooth down the tooth roots so that the tissue can reattach to the bone.
Moderate Periodontal Disease
The bacteria continue to get more aggressive at this next stage. Instead of just attacking your bone, they attack your bloodstream as well. The infection and inflammation from gum disease can spread throughout the body, causing problems in other areas. Scaling and root planing are used to manage this stage as well.
Severe Periodontal Disease
The infection completely evolves into disease-causing bacteria in the final stage. Your gums ooze with pus, you have severely bad breath, and your teeth become loose. It hurts to bite into or chew any food. Only laser periodontal therapy and gum surgery can manage the condition at this point.
Periodontal Therapy What to Expect
Periodontal disease is a serious oral health problem that can lead to tooth loss. It affects people of all ages but is most common in adults over age 35. Most cases can be prevented by practicing good dental hygiene, but with proper treatment, it is possible to manage the disease. Dr. Benjamin Stevens offers several treatment options for periodontal disease.
Periodontal disease treatment is a medical procedure done to prevent the patient from suffering from more severe infections. It is a process that is done to remove the infected tissues and gums in a patient’s mouth. In some more serious cases, there might be some teeth that need to be removed as well.
If you have early signs of periodontal disease, Dr. Stevens may recommend more frequent dental cleanings to restore your gums to optimal health or make personalized recommendations for oral hygiene products such as antibacterial rinse.
If more intensive treatment is needed, Dr. Stevens may recommend a form of periodontal therapy known as scaling and root planing. Scaling and root planing is deep teeth cleaning that reaches the deep pockets of the gums. During this procedure, the dentist will remove plaque and tartar from the deep pockets of the gum, allowing them to begin healing.
Patients who have advanced signs of gum disease that have begun to affect the stability and structure of the jaw bone may require more intense treatment or oral surgery. Dr. Stevens may refer you to a local periodontist for treatment.
Schedule A Dental Exam & Periodontal Disease Treatment
If you have sore gums or bleeding gums, schedule an appointment for a periodontal screening and consultation. We offer treatment for gum disease near Indianapolis, IN, and Greenwood, Indiana. We gladly welcome new patients.