Periodontal Services at Southridge Dental
At Southridge Dental, our general dentists work with patients to help prevent gingivitis and periodontitis (gum disease) to achieve and maintain healthy gums.
Gum Disease & Your Oral Health
Periodontal (gum) disease is an infection of the the structures that support the teeth, including the gums, gingiva, alveolar bone, cementum, and the periodontal ligament.
Gum disease can develop as a result of poor oral hygiene habits, smoking, and/or systemic diseases that allow plaque to build up on the teeth and harden, eventually infecting the gums.
Gum Disease & Your Overall Health
It is important to prevent and treat gum disease because it can affect a number of health issues not limited to your mouth. These include heart health, diabetes, and the ability to lead a healthy lifestyle.
Gum Disease: Stages
Gum disease is difficult to detect in its early stages, and many patients only begin to notice symptoms when they have progressed to the more advanced stages.
Gum Disease: Treatment
Treatment for periodontal disease depends on the severity of the disease. If it is caught in the early stages, preventative therapy will be recommended.
Gum disease typically progresses as follows:
Gingivitis is the first stage of periodontal disease, and is easily treatable. Plaque and the toxins it produces irritate the gums, making them sore, inflamed, and likely to bleed.
If it is not regularly removed plaque will eventually harden into tartar. As tartar and plaque continue to build up, they cause the gums to start receding from the teeth. Pockets then form between the gums and teeth, which fill with bacteria and pus. The gums become irritated, inflamed, and bleed easily. Slight to moderate bone loss may occur.
- Advanced Periodontitis
As gum disease progresses, the gums, bone, and periodontal ligament continue to deteriorate. Unless treated, the affected teeth will become very loose and may even fall out. Moderate to severe bone loss in the jaw may occur.
Treatment will fall into one of these categories:
- Non-Surgical Gum Therapy
Non-surgical gum therapy may be sufficient to reverse mild gum disease. Non surgical gum therapy involves a deep cleaning to remove plaque buildup, performed by a dental hygienist. The hygienist will remove the plaque and tartar around and below the gum line, and smooth out any resulting rough areas using a process called scaling and root planing.
- Surgical Gum Therapy
For patients with more advanced gum disease, surgical treatment may be required to reverse the effects. Depending on the patient's requirements, there are a few different types of surgical gum therapy that could be performed, including flap surgery, guided tissue regeneration, tissue grafting, and bone grafting.
- Post-Treatment Maintenance
Once your periodontal treatment is complete, our dental team will recommend that you attend regular dental appointments for checkups and preventative therapy, usually four times a year.
Ongoing preventive oral hygiene practices at home, and preventive therapy at your dentist's office are key when it comes to keeping periodontal disease under control.