For our team at Star City Dental, periodontal care is a vital step in preventing tooth loss. Losing your natural tooth can be devastating. Not only can it interfere with normal actions such as chewing and speaking, but it can also cause a loss in self-confidence if it occurs in a visible area that impacts appearance.
Periodontal disease occurs when there is severe inflammation of the gumline. If left untreated, the damage can extend into the bone. This disease usually starts out as gingivitis. This then worsens into periodontitis and eventually severe periodontitis. It is important to remember that this condition often starts out painless, making regular dental check the best line of defense through early detection.
One of the most common indicators of gum disease is bleeding. If you find yourself easily bleeding whenever you brush your teeth, then this could indicate a problem. This can often be accompanied by periods of red swollen gums and tenderness. Another common problem is bad breath. The bacteria that takes refuge in the pockets along the gumline tend to produce a bad smell that can make it embarrassing to speak to others face to face.
Gum recession is another common symptom. It may seem like your teeth are getting longer, whereas they as just becoming more exposed as the gums become smaller. This recession causes more exposure of dentin that can cause increased tooth sensitivity. The bacteria can also attack the bone that supports your teeth, making them feel looser than before.
During your dental exams, our dentist will look for signs of plaque and tartar buildup that are the strongest indication of bacteria having sunk into the gumline. To check on how advanced the disease is, we will measure the pocket depth. This is the distance between the teeth and gums. Ideally, it should be between 1-3 millimeters, depending on the type of tooth. More than 4 mm does suggest periodontitis. Dental x-rays are likely to be undertaken to determine the level of bone loss, the extent of decay, and how far the pocket depths go.
At its earliest stage of gingivitis, periodontitis can be treated with deep cleaning procedures. Scaling is done to remove plaque and tartar from the tooth surface and beneath the gum line. Root planing helps to smooth our damaged root surfaces. This discourages more clinging of plaque and tartar and removes bacteria. This should also help heal any inflammation and encourage the gums to reattach properly. We may also prescribe antibiotics to do deal with any bacterial infection.
In more advanced cases of periodontitis, dental surgery may be required. Pocket reduction surgery is whereby incisions are made to the gums to expose the root and perform scaling and planing procedures more effectively. Where serious damage has been done to the bone that supports the tooth root, bone grafting may be recommended to help hold the tooth root in place and promote healthy bone regrowth. If the gums have severely receded, soft tissue grafts may be undertaken to cover the exposed tooth, stop the recession, and restore a more natural appearance to the gumline.
To find out more about how you can benefit from periodontal care even with worrying symptoms presenting, get in touch with us today. Call us Star City Dental at (531) 220-0044 to make your appointment. Our team of professionals is on standby to help resolve all your dental challenges and restore a healthy natural smile.