Periodontal disease, also called gum disease, is an issue that affects almost 25% of adults by the age of 45. Once periodontal disease occurs, it frequently recurs again and again. Gum disease broadly refers to a series of inflammatory conditions that affect the gums and can lead to infections, swelling, bleeding, and the eventual loss of teeth. To best handle gum disease, it’s important to learn not only how to treat it, but also how to prevent it. The process is quite simple but does require daily care.
Periodontal disease occurs in several distinct stages that can be identified and diagnosed by dentists and other oral health professionals. These are:
Gingivitis is the earliest and most common stage. It is when the gums are inflamed because plaque has been allowed to build up around the gum line. Periodontitis occurs next and is when the gums and fibers that keep the teeth in place have become irreparably damaged. The gums become inflamed, and pockets form underneath the gumline which hold more plaque and tartar. The last stage is advanced periodontitis. This is when the bones and fibers holding teeth in place are damaged and cannot be repaired and the teeth become mobile or fall out.
Gum disease is often overlooked but is a serious problem that can lead to permanent tooth loss as well as increased risk of health concerns like heart disease. The primary cause of all periodontal disease is poor oral health and care. The easiest way to prevent gum disease is therefore to keep track of your oral health and get regular maintenance cleanings.
For small children, parents should assist all oral hygiene activity. Teeth should be brushed twice a day and flossed one a way. On small children using the floss picks is the easiest way to floss as their mouths are very small. Until your child is able to tie their shoes on their own, they do not have the dexterity to brush and floss themselves.
For older kids, teenagers, and adults, the best way to maintain oral health and hygiene is by brushing at least twice a day and also flossing at night after eating the final meal or snack. Some dentists recommend rinsing with a fluoridated, alcohol free mouthwash once a day as well to eliminate any bacteria that might be lingering in pockets around the gums.
Once gum disease has developed, the proper way to treat it will vary depending on which stage it has reached. It’s important to consult a dentist to figure out which stage you have reached, as well as to determine whether or not there are any special tips you should follow for proper care.
If the gum disease has progressed to the stage of periodontal disease, patients will need scaling and root planing. During this procedure, an experienced dentist will remove plaque and hardened buildup from the teeth. This process cleans areas both above and below the gumline allowing for the gums to then re-form a healthy attachment to the tooth surfaces.
Dr. James and the team at Trinity Dental office also offer some additional services which help minimize the amount of disease-causing oral bacteria. In patients with moderate to severe periodontal disease, Dr. James will recommend placement of Arestin in the most affected areas. Arestin is a powdered antibiotic that helps kill the bacteria present in the gingival pocket that are causing the inflammation. Laser therapy can be done to kill the bacteria in the periodontal pocket as well as removed diseased gum tissue. Patients who receive either laser therapy or Arestin therapy in conjunction with the scaling and root planning usually have better long-term outcomes than those who just receive the scaling and root planning alone.
If you suspect you might be developing any of the stages of gum disease, it’s important to seek out a qualified dentist to receive periodontal gum treatment. If you’re looking for the caring and quality treatment in Dallas, then consider contacting Trinity Dental Loft. This office takes pride in having some of the best gum maintenance treatment in Dallas, TX, and is capable of handling patients with a variety of dental needs. For more information, give the office a call.