What is Periodontal (Gum) Disease?
Periodontal disease, or more commonly referred to as Gum disease affects over 75% of adults and contributes to more tooth loss than decay. Caused by the buildup of plaque bacteria that attack the gums, supporting tissues and eventually leads to bone loss. Periodontal disease may display warning signs such as:
- Gums that are red, swollen, tender or bleed easily
- Gums that have pulled away from teeth
- Persistent bad breath or bad taste
- Changes in tooth position, looseness, separation or mismatch
Factors that contribute to gum disease include tobacco use, poor oral hygiene, family history, crooked teeth, pregnancy, diabetes and certain medications. The good news is that when detected in earlier stages, gum disease can be treated and even reversed preventing long-term damage.
Periodontics is the area of dentistry that specializes in preventing, diagnosing and treating gum disease. Periodontists receive up to three additional years of specialized training in diagnosing and treating periodontal disease and are also experts in treating oral inflammation and replacing missing teeth with dental implants. Periodontal treatments and procedures include:
- Teeth scaling, root planing and laser treatments
- Pocket reduction
- Gum grafting
- Crown lengthening
- Dental implants
The staff of DiBella Dental Care is committed to helping you achieve good periodontal health for a lifetime.
Scaling and Root Planing
Scaling and root planing is the primary method for treating periodontal (gum) disease. When plaque and tartar have built up at a greater depth than a preventative cleaning can tackle, your dental hygienist will recommend a scaling and root planing procedure. This means that they will be using specially-designed dental tools to remove the build-up below the gum line that is preventing the gum tissue from being tightly attached to the root surface of your tooth. Removing the build-up allows the gum tissue to heal and reattach to the tooth thereby preventing further contamination from the bacteria and halting further damage to your teeth and bone.
In most cases, a local anesthetic is used during the procedure and you may experience some discomfort following. Your hygienist will give you suggestions for home care to aide in the healing process. Once the process is complete, your dentist will determine if additional periodontal surgery is required.
Soft Tissue Management
Diagnosis and treatment of periodontal (gum and bone) disease vitally affects oral and physical health. Studies have linked gum disease to heart disease, stroke, diabetes and other life-threatening conditions. Dentists design soft tissue management (STM) plans to achieve lifelong dental health by eliminating gum infection, inflammation, deep pockets and bleeding to achieve periodontal health.
An STM plan typically consists of:
- A thorough periodontal exam, including deep pocket measurements
- Deep cleaning below the gum line into the pockets
- Irrigating treated areas with medication
- More frequent cleanings
- A long-term home cleaning regimen
When treated in the early stages, the ravaging effects of periodontal disease can be stopped and kept under control. DiBella Dental Care uses the most effective periodontal treatments and technologies to enable you to enjoy fresher breath and healthier gums and teeth.