New Bedford, Falmouth, & Hyannis, MA
When gum disease, also called periodontal disease, starts, it does not always seem like a big deal. It occurs when a buildup of plaque and bacteria irritate your gums and cause them to become inflamed. The earliest stage, characterized by red, swollen gums that may bleed when you brush and floss, is often missed or ignored. Because of this, the condition goes untreated and continues to get worse. Swollen gums begin pulling away from the teeth, creating pockets. Bacteria collect in these pockets and begin attacking your periodontal ligaments and jawbone along with continuing to attack your gum tissue. This can lead to gum recession, loose teeth, and tooth loss. Treating gum disease is essential for restoring your oral health, but sometimes one treatment is not enough. Dr. Gus Dehni DMD can help with periodontal maintenance.
What Is Gum Disease?
Gum disease is a chronic oral health condition that stems from inflammation in your gums. It develops when plaque builds up and combines with naturally occurring bacteria. The plaque becomes trapped in the naturally occurring pockets between your teeth and gums.
While it is a slow-developing oral health condition, it is not to be taken lightly. The longer you wait for professional intervention, the more involved the procedures will be. On the other hand, early treatment improves your outcomes and will also save you time and money. Even though our professionals are skilled at treating all stages of gum disease, periodontal maintenance is the best approach for a healthy smile.
Over time, the symptoms of gum disease will get progressively worse. It starts with inflammation and increased sensitivity in your gum. Slightly more advanced symptoms include things such as an increased risk of tooth decay and even receding gums. The final stage of gum disease is tooth loss.
While good brushing and flossing habits can help, professional care is a must, especially once you have begun to experience symptoms. When you miss places while brushing, the plaque can harden into a substance called tartar. Even with the best brushing sessions, you cannot remove tartar yourself.
Stages of Gum Disease
Periodontal disease has four stages which can help you assess how far the condition has progressed. During the initial stages of the disease, it presents itself as inflammation in the gums. This is the stage referred to as gingivitis, which increases sensitivity and bleeding in most cases. Maintaining good oral hygiene and regular cleanings goes a long way in ensuring you are protected from such effects.
After inflammation, the next stage is receding of gums, where the teeth pull away from the gums creating pockets that accumulate tartar and plaque. If this is not dealt with in time, the result can be severe to your oral health. Our professional dental practitioners are trained to handle every stage of the disease, preventing it from causing more damage.
After receding gums, the next stage presents significant gum recession and bleeding before it becomes advanced periodontal disease.
Periodontal Disease and The Mind and Body Connection
When you know what gum disease is, you can quickly figure out how it can affect you and your mouth. Besides affecting your mouth, it can also affect other parts of your body. This is because the bacteria that cause gum disease can easily travel throughout.
By being a travel point to other parts of the body, the mouth’s bacteria can bring about infections, which the body may have a hard time defending against on its own.
However, the team at Center for Advanced Periodontics and Implant Dentistry, will help educate you concerning the effects of gum disease. This way it can be controlled and reversed.
What Is Periodontal Maintenance and Care?
Periodontal maintenance and care are the areas of preventive dentistry that focuses on the health of your gums. As part of our team’s periodontal care approach, we will regularly check the pocket depth between your teeth and gums. Increasing depth in these pockets are a sign that gum disease may be developing and lets our team know that it is time to act.
Another aspect of periodontal maintenance involves removing any plaque or tartar from below your gum line. Our team will do this at your bi-annual cleanings to ensure that the material does not have time to damage your smile. As with other aspects of dental care, preventing gum disease through proactive techniques is much more effective and budget-friendly than trying to repair the damage later.
What Treatments Are Used for Gum Disease?
Generally, early-stage gum disease can be treated through non-invasive treatments that are performed during your cleaning. This treatment is referred to as scaling and root planing and can be considered part of periodontal maintenance.
Scaling and Root Planing
This particular treatment is a deep cleaning of your teeth that allows us to remove all buildup from all surfaces of your teeth, both above and below the gum line. Scaling removes buildup from the areas above the gum line, particularly around and just below the gum line. During scaling, our hygienist will gently remove any tartar or plaque from below your gums with a metal, handheld tool. This is designed to remove the source of your inflammation. Once that is complete, root planing is used to smooth out the roots of each tooth so that they can reconnect to your gums. Root planing cleans the surfaces of your roots, smoothing them so that it becomes more difficult for new bacteria to adhere to. The scaling and root planing treatment is usually finished with an antibacterial rinse to kill any lingering bacteria.
Benefits of Periodontal Maintenance
Periodontal maintenance has many benefits.
||It helps to slow, and stop, the progression of gum disease.
||The irritation and inflammation of your gum tissues are eased.
||We can effectively remove all of the most stubborn buildup from the surfaces of your teeth.
||Treatment helps to restore and protect your oral health.
||Periodontal maintenance helps to restore your confidence and the beauty of your smile.
Schedule An Appointment in New Bedford or Falmouth, MA
Regularly visiting our expert dental team protects you from severe oral deterioration. If you are around New Bedford or Falmouth and think that you may be experiencing symptoms of gum disease or would like to take steps to protect your smile, then it is time to see us at Center for Advanced Periodontics and Implant Dentistry. You can schedule your appointment here or by calling our office at 508-996-3131 today!