Maintaining proper care of your gums is a significant part of your oral health, and affects the health of your entire body. Which is why Dr. Hawkins and his team take the health of your gums seriously.
If your dentist diagnoses you as having periodontitis, this is a severe form of gum disease. Yes, this is an issue you must do something about, but there are specific periodontal therapies to consider. Let’s explore this disease and the therapies your dentist may use to restore your gum health.
What is Periodontal Disease?
Periodontal disease is a gum disease that affects your teeth’s supporting tissue and bone. You may suspect you have periodontitis if you notice pockets forming around your teeth. This happens when gums recede due to harmful bacteria destroying the tissue and surrounding bone.
If left untreated, periodontal disease can lead to tooth loss. Bacteria that form at the gum line may also enter your bloodstream and lead to increased risks for stroke, heart attack, and diabetes. This is why, besides protecting your teeth, it’s vital you seek treatment for this disease.
What Causes Periodontal Disease?
There are many risk factors that contribute to this disease. Dental experts have identified the following as main periodontal disease causes:
- The consumption of sugary foods and drinks
- Poor oral health habits
- Family history
So while you can choose to not smoke or eat sugary substances, and brush your teeth often, you cannot control your family history. If a relative has gum disease, it’s something to be mindful of as you may inherit it as well.
The best course of action to prevent periodontal disease as best you can is to take superb care of your teeth and gums. Also, be sure to visit your dentist for regular deep cleanings and checkups.
What is the Best Periodontal Therapy?
Your dentist may simply recommend you improve your dental care habits at home if your periodontal disease is only at the earliest stages. If not, you may require periodontal therapy.
Scaling and root planing are the most common therapies to treat this gum disease. It is a two-step process that starts with deep cleaning, during which Dr. Hawkins removes plaque and calculus tartar down to the depths of the gum pocket. After, he will smooth your tooth’s root surfaces, which helps the gum tissue heal and reattach to the tooth. Scaling and root planing treatments may take place over several visits.
If your dentist thinks your periodontal disease is too severe for scaling and root planing, they may recommend surgery. You may have to undergo gum grafts or gum flap therapy to restore the tissue, or consider dental implants to replace tooth loss that can result from periodontal disease.
Yes, periodontal disease is serious, especially if left untreated. Talking to your dentist and going to your regularly scheduled appointments is the first step to preventing it. Have more questions about periodontal therapy options? Please feel free to contact our office via phone, email, or schedule an appointment online.