Tackling Gum Disease Head On
- Posted on: May 15 2017
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Gum disease (or periodontal disease) is the result of bacteria and plaque buildup that causes your gums to become inflamed and infected. Plaque can be eliminated with regular brushing and flossing, but if it isn’t removed, it gets hard and becomes tartar. When bacteria and tartar develop around or under the gum line, periodontal disease is inevitable if it isn’t detected and treated immediately.
The two types of periodontal disease are gingivitis and periodontitis. Gingivitis can be identified if you have red, swollen gums that are prone to bleeding. Periodontitis is a much more severe condition where inflammation travels deep below the gum line, causing deep pockets of infection. This can lead to tooth loss if left untreated.
The good news is there are treatments out there that address these oral health conditions, ranging from deep cleaning to oral surgery, depending on the severity of the condition. Deep cleaning is the first step in treating periodontal disease. Also known as scaling or root planing, this procedure involves removing tartar and plaque by scraping it off below and above the gum lines. Root planing is then used to get rid of the rough areas where your tooth roots are exposed and where bacteria builds up. If you maintain a good oral health routine, you probably won’t need more treatments, but if your gingivitis isn’t resolved through deep cleaning, you’re at risk for developing periodontitis, which usually requires oral surgery.
One of two types of procedures that effectively treats periodontal disease is flap surgery (pocket reduction). This is routinely performed on patients whose gums have pulled away from their tissue and formed pockets that are too hard to clean. Your dentist will pull back your gum tissue to get rid of bacteria before fitting it snugly around your teeth. The other procedure for treating periodontal disease is a tissue and bone graft to promote the regrowth of gum tissue and bone.
To prevent gingivitis from turning into periodontitis, be sure to brush and floss daily, eat a balanced diet, avoid tobacco, and see your dentist twice a year for regular checkups and cleanings.
To schedule your next dental visit, contact the office of Paul Covell, DDS online or by calling 713.943.9832. We look forward to hearing from you!
Posted in: Periodontal Disease