What Is Periodontal (Gum) Disease and How Is It Treated?

What Is Periodontal (Gum) Disease and How Is It Treated?

October 1, 2021

Are you suffering from chronic bad breath? Or do your gums bleed whenever you brush and floss your teeth? If so, you may have gum disease and need to seek periodontal treatment in Houston, TX.

Periodontal disease is among the most prevalent oral diseases in America. Sadly enough, half of the adults above the age of 30 have gum disease.

Gum disease is to be taken seriously since the disease affects the gums, bones, and other structures that hold the teeth in place. It can range from gum inflammation to a severe infection that affects the soft tissue and alveolar bones. If you don’t seek periodontal treatment near you, then you may lose your teeth.

However, if you suspect that you might have gum disease, Don’t fret! We live in a time when we have cutting-edge dental technology that our gum disease dentist near you can use to prevent further damage to your gums and bones.

What Is Periodontal (Gum) Disease?

Gum or periodontal disease, otherwise called periodontitis in dentistry, is a disease that causes infection or inflammation around the tooth.

Whenever you eat, bacteria will swarm around your teeth to digest the food particles. When they do, they form a sticky substance known as plaque, which is comprised of bacteria, saliva, and food debris. If you don’t remove plaque by cleaning your teeth, the bacteria will start to multiply. Shortly after, plaque begins to harden, forming a substance known as calculus or tartar.

Then, your immune system will notice the increase of bacteria in the mouth and respond to the threat; in turn, toxins are released, and inflammation occurs. As the disease progresses, it can increase the risk of having general health issues such as heart attack, high blood pressure, stroke, among others.

Most of the time, periodontitis is preventable if you practice proper oral hygiene.

What Are the Stages of Gum Disease?

Periodontal disease has four distinct stages that range from mild to advanced, and they are:

  • Gingivitis

This is the beginning of the disease and is characterized by gum inflammation. When there is plaque buildup around the gumline, your gums become inflamed. However, if you visit our gum disease dentist near you, tooth cleaning can be carried out to reverse the effects. Plus, if you maintain proper oral hygiene, your oral health will be back to its glory days.

  • Slight Periodontal Disease

If you don’t clean your teeth and allow plaque to harden, you will find yourself dealing with the second stage of gum disease. At this stage, the fibers and bones that support the roots are affected. Once you get to this stage, the infection has reached the bone and has started destroying it.

  • Moderate Periodontal Disease

At this stage, your gums have begun receding, and now there are deeper periodontal pockets. Therefore, bacteria can attack the bones and enter the bloodstream.

  • Advanced Periodontal Disease

This is the final stage of periodontitis. By now, bacteria have wreaked havoc on the bone that supports the teeth. You will notice significant gum recession, gaps between teeth, and other severe health issues at this stage. Tooth loss is inevitable if you don’t get periodontal treatment in Houston, TX.

How Will You Know You Have Gum Disease?

Most people disregard the early warning signs of the disease. However, keep an eye out for the following signs:

  • Bleeding gums when you are flossing or brushing your teeth
  • Sores in the mouth
  • Loose teeth
  • Tender, red, or swollen gums
  • Bad breath
  • Gum recession
  • Bite changes
  • Tooth sensitivity
  • Pus between your teeth and gums

How Will, Our Periodontist, Treat Gum Disease?

Several treatment options can help deal with gum disease. The type of treatment will depend on the stage of gum disease. There are two kinds of treatment:

Non-Surgical Treatments

  • Professional Dental Cleaning

During a routine visit, our gum disease dentist near you will remove the dental plaque from above and below your gum line. However, cleaning is not a treatment for gum disease, but it can prevent gum disease.

  • Deep Cleaning

In most cases, this is done under local anesthesia. Tartar (hardened plaque) will be scraped away – this is known as scaling. Then, to avoid tartar from developing, the roots would be smoothened – a process known as planning. Plus, planning provides a clean surface for the gums to reattach.

  • Medication

You will get some prescribed antibiotics that can help control the bacterial infection. You may get the medication in tablet or gel form.

Surgical Treatment

  • Flap Surgery

For severe cases, flap surgery may be required. The gums will be lifted to facilitate the removal of tartar. The rough surfaces of the bones will be smoothened to prevent plaque buildup. After the procedure, your gums will be placed snugly around your pearly whites.

  • Bone Grafts

Our dentist can use a synthetic bone, a donated bone, or fragments of your bones to replace bones that have been destroyed. This procedure stimulates the regrowth of bone and will make your teeth more stable.

  • Gum Grafts

The tissue will be taken from the back of your mouth and used to fill spaces left by gum recession.

  • LANAP® Laser Gum Surgery

If you are unable to withstand alternative treatments, this less invasive treatment is the best option. The treatment attacks bacteria and diseased tissue that cause inflammation without harming the healthy tissue.

Gum disease can be avoided and reversed with proper oral care during the early stages. If you need periodontal treatment in Houston, TX, contact us at Patrick V. Nicosia to schedule an appointment.

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