Understanding the Development and Treatment of Periodontal Disease
You can’t have healthy teeth with unhealthy gums. Your gums protect and support your teeth, so you can’t neglect them if you want a beautiful, healthy smile. While your gums may not be the stars of your smile, they deserve the same care you give your teeth. Proper dental care at home can help combat gum disease, but if it develops, periodontal care from Covington Family Dentistry can restore your dental health to its usual best.
How does gum disease develop?
While genetics and certain medical conditions may put you at risk of gum disease, poor oral hygiene is the root cause of gum disease. Poor dental hygiene leaves food particles in your mouth, and when they mix with saliva, it leads to the formation of a clear film of bacteria (plaque) which causes gingivitis — an early form of gum disease.
The early symptoms of gum disease include:
- Red or swollen gums
- Bleeding gums when brushing or flossing your teeth
- Tender gums
If plaque isn’t removed, it advances to tartar, which requires the help of a dentist to eliminate. You may think you have enough time before plaque hardens into tartar, but this happens in less than 72 hours!
Tartar develops below the gum line and causes an advanced form of gum disease called periodontitis. At this stage, the infection is beyond your gums, and common symptoms may include:
- Chronic bad breath
- Loose teeth
- Painful chewing
- Receding gums
- Change in the way your teeth fit together when chewing
Treating gum disease
While gum disease is a severe condition, Drs. Doreen Wilson and John Hendricks can help bring your smile back to health. We encourage our patients to seek treatment immediately when they spot gum disease signs. The early form of gum disease can be reversed with at-home dental care and routine dental cleanings.
However, if you have mild gum disease, you need further intervention. Scaling removes plaque and tartar beneath your gum line to stop the infection. A dentist can perform this procedure using instruments, a laser, or an ultrasonic device. Root planing smooths out tooth roots to prevent the build-up of the infection. We may combine deep teeth cleaning with topical or oral antibiotics to manage the condition.
If the infection has spread to your jawbone and other tooth-supporting structures, we recommend laser surgery and grafting to restore your smile.
Periodontal Treatment in Covington, Georgia
Prevention is the best strategy to protect your smile against gum disease. However, should you need periodontal treatment, please contact Covington Family Dentistry at (770) 787-2230 for gentle and effective periodontal care.
The 3 stages of gum disease are gingivitis, periodontitis, and advanced periodontitis. Gingivitis is caused by toxins irritating the gum line as a result of plaque buildup. Signs and symptoms of gingivitis includes swelling, sensitivity, and bleeding of the gums during brushing and flossing. Gingivitis can be easily reversed through professional care and good home oral hygiene. Periodontitis is categorized by irreversible bone loss that results from untreated gingivitis. The gums may begin to form a pocket below the gum line which traps food and plaque. Dental treatment and home care can help prevent from further damage, but at this stage, the results are not reversible. Advanced periodontitis is when the fibers and bones supporting the teeth destroyed. This may cause teeth to shift or loosen. Teeth may have to be removed depending on how advanced the disease has become and if treatments are not effective. You can begin by preventing gum disease with good oral health. Pick up a brochure or ask your dentist today.