Did you know that periodontal (gum) disease is the leading cause of tooth loss in adults? The good news is that visiting Indigo Dentistry for your twice-a-year dental exam and cleanings will allow for the prevention, early detection, treatment, and management of gum disease. We are all about ensuring our valued patients maintain long-term, healthy and beautiful smiles!
How Does Gum Disease Develop and Progress?
Periodontal disease is primarily caused by dental plaque, a sticky film of bacteria that continuously forms on everyone’s teeth. If not removed by regular brushing, flossing, and professional dental cleanings, plaque bacteria irritate the gum tissue, causing inflammation, a condition known as gingivitis. Fortunately, meticulous brushing, flossing, and professional dental cleanings can reverse this early stage of gum disease.
Gingivitis left untreated can continue to advance to a serious condition known as periodontitis. The gums start pulling away from the teeth and form spaces called pockets. These small spaces trap plaque, bacteria, and debris and can become infected. Toxins produced by plaque bacteria coupled with the body’s immune system’s response to the infection destroy the bone and connective tissue securing the teeth in place, ultimately leading to tooth loss.
How Does Gum Disease Affect Your Health?
Gum disease isn’t bad news for just your oral health. It can also adversely affect your overall health. Studies have uncovered a link between chronic gum inflammation and a host of serious health conditions, including heart disease, stroke, dementia, rheumatoid arthritis, diabetes, problems in pregnancy, and more.
Gum Disease Therapy Overview
The first and most effective treatment for gum disease is a deep cleaning known as scaling and root planing. This non-surgical procedure is usually all that’s needed to reverse gingivitis, fully restoring your gum’s health.
Scaling involves removing any plaque or tartar deposits from the tooth surfaces and below the gum line using an instrument called a scaler. The second part of your deep cleaning, called root planing, involves the cleaning and smoothing out of the root surfaces. That discourages bacteria and tartar buildup and promotes gum healing and reattachment to the tooth surfaces.
What Should You Expect After Scaling and Root Planing?
In most cases, after scaling and root planing, red or swollen gums become firm and pink again, and the pockets become smaller. If your gums respond well to treatment, you will likely not need any further intervention other than routine preventative care. If, on the other hand, your periodontal disease is very advanced, you may need surgical intervention to halt the progression of the condition and to prevent bone loss.
What Is Periodontal Maintenance?
After treating gum disease, you will need to schedule more frequent preventive visits to our office, typically every three months. These periodontal maintenance appointments include a thorough professional tooth cleaning, an evaluation of your gum health, and a measurement of the depth of the pockets. These follow-up visits are designed to halt the progression of gum disease and to keep your gums and bone healthy.
Gum Disease Therapy Near Me
Visit Indigo Dentistry in Cedar Hill, TX, to learn more about the prevention, treatment, and management of gum disease. Dr. Collier and her team are proud to offer time-tested gum disease therapy that will ensure you enjoy healthy smiles for many years to come. Call us and schedule your appointment today!