If you are 30 or older there is a 50-50 chance you are walking around with gum disease, and there is a much higher chance if you are over the age of 65. Gum disease is a progressive disease that can lead to tooth loss. However, in most cases it is easily preventable. Proper daily oral hygiene and a visit to the dentist twice yearly for a professional cleaning is all it takes to ward it off. Different stages of periodontal disease require different treatments. Read on to find out how to treat periodontal disease.
Stages of Gum Disease
Gingivitis: The first stage of gum disease is gingivitis. Gingivitis is caused by the buildup of plaque along your gum line. Plaque is easily removed via a regular regimen of daily brushing and flossing. However, if plaque is left on your teeth and gums it can cause irritation and infection of the gingival tissue. Symptoms of gingivitis include red, swollen, bleeding gums. Left untreated gingivitis can progress to a more serious condition called periodontitis
Periodontitis: If plaque is not removed while it is still soft and sticky it will harden into tartar (also called calculus). At this stage the only way to remove it is via a professional cleaning. Symptoms of periodontitis, the severest stage of gum disease, include chronic inflammation and infection, bleeding, the development of periodontal pockets, bone destruction, and tooth loss.
If you are presenting with the early stage of gum disease a more consistent regimen of thorough brushing and flossing will be recommended. A prescription mouthwash to help reduce pathogenic oral bacteria may also be prescribed.
Depending on the stage, a deep cleaning may also be necessary. A deep cleaning is also called a scaling and root planing. Your dentist will use special tools to remove plaque and tartar buildup along and below the gumline. Antibiotic therapy may also be required after a deep cleaning, usually in the form of a topical treatment or mouth rinse.
ABOUT YOUR NORTH RICHLAND HILLS DENTIST:
With over 25 years of professional experience, Dr. Steven M. Huffstutler and his caring team proudly provide exceptional preventive, cosmetic, and restorative dental treatment to patients and their families across Dallas/Ft. Worth, including North Richland Hills, Denton, the Mid-cities, Southlake, and all surrounding communities. We also have extensive experience helping patients find relief from painful TMJ disorders (various forms of jaw dysfunction). To schedule an appointment with Dr. Huffstutler, contact our office today by calling 817-577-1444.