Gum disease, also known as periodontal disease, is one of the leading causes of tooth loss in adults, and because it causes virtually no pain, many patients are unaware they have the disease. At Christina Greene Family Dentistry, we emphasize the prevention, early detection, treatment, and management of periodontal disease to ensure our valued patients maintain long-term healthy smiles.
How Does Periodontal Disease Develop?
Periodontal disease usually results from poor oral hygiene practices. If not removed by brushing, flossing, and routine dental cleanings, dental plaque irritates the gums and causes inflammation. The gums start pulling away from the teeth, leaving spaces known as pockets, which trap plaque, tartar, and debris and provide an ideal environment for bacteria to flourish.
Other causes of periodontal disease include family history, smoking, hormonal changes during pregnancy, and the natural aging process. Crooked teeth can also lead to gum disease because they are much harder to clean.
What Are the Stages of Periodontal Disease?
Periodontal disease is a progressive condition. In its early stages, it's easy to reverse. However, if left to advance, it can eventually destroy the bone and tissues supporting the teeth, potentially leading to tooth loss.
Here are the stages of periodontal disease:
- Gingivitis: This earliest of gum disease is characterized by red, swollen, and bleeding gums.
- Early Periodontitis: Here, a slight loss of the bone and tissue that support the teeth may occur.
- Moderate Periodontitis: Gum and bone tissue sustain significant damage, and teeth may start becoming loose.
- Advanced Periodontitis: The pockets deepen, chewing may be painful, and the teeth may become very loose and fall out.
How Does Periodontal Disease Affect Your Health?
Gum disease is a serious matter. Not only is it detrimental to your smile, but it can also impact your overall health. Research shows a link between gum disease and chronic health conditions, including diabetes, heart disease, stroke, and rheumatoid arthritis, to name a few. That's why caring for your teeth and gums is important to us here at Christina Greene Family Dentistry.
How Is Periodontal Disease Treated?
The first line of treatment for gum disease is a deep cleaning known as scaling and root planing. This procedure, coupled with meticulous dental hygiene practices at home, can reverse gingivitis and restore your healthy smile. If you have more advanced periodontal disease, scaling and root planing can help manage the condition and prevent its progression.
Scaling and root planing involve removing plaque and tartar from the tooth surfaces and below the gum line, followed by smoothing the tooth roots to prevent future tartar and bacteria buildup and to help the gum tissue heal. In some advanced cases, we may recommend the use of medication or surgical intervention.
What Is Periodontal Maintenance?
After periodontal disease treatment, we will ask you to return to our office every three or four months. Your appointments will include professional dental cleanings, measuring the depth of pockets and gum recession, and evaluating your gum tissue's health. The goal of periodontal maintenance is to prevent gum disease from progressing and causing complications.
How We Help You Relax During Treatment
Dr. Greene is committed to ensuring your time at our office is a pleasant experience you'll enjoy again and again. If you're anxious about gum disease treatment, let us know. We want to reassure you that between Chloe, our trained therapy dog, our gentle approach, and our needle-free sedation dentistry options, you'll enjoy anxiety-free dental care.
Periodontics Near Me
Contact Christina Greene Family Dentistry in Keller, TX, to learn more about keeping your smile free of gum disease. We encourage you to schedule your twice-a-year dental exams and cleanings to allow us to monitor your oral health and address any condition as it arises. Call us today!