Periodontal (gum) disease is a pervasive oral health condition that can wreak havoc on a person’s oral health. This incidence of gum disease is staggering, too. Estimates state that up to 80% of the adult population in the United States will develop some form of gum disease in a lifetime. Our team at Evers & Gardner Dental provides periodontal therapy and maintenance to help our patients reclaim their oral health.
The Dangers of Gum Disease
Did you know that periodontal disease is the primary cause of tooth loss in adulthood? It’s true. When gum disease progresses, it attacks and destroys the structures that support teeth. The infection associated with periodontal disease can erode gum tissue as well as bone. The loss of bone and gingival tissue can contribute to systemic tooth loss that will ultimately require prosthetics like bridges or dentures to replace lost tooth structure.
In addition to the many negative effects gum disease has on oral health, it is important to note that this common condition can contribute to chronic health conditions such as heart disease and diabetes.
Maintaining gum health is imperative for preventing the onset of gum disease. If a person has been diagnosed with periodontal disease, it is important to seek professional treatment quickly.
Non-Surgical Treatment Options
We offer non-surgical treatment options for the management of gum disease. When patients develop advanced gum disease, they will have tartar accumulation along the gum line, below the gums, and along the surfaces of teeth – including the roots. Since surface debris like tartar contributes to the inflammation and infection of the gingiva, it is important that this substance is thoroughly removed.
Periodontal cleanings involve professional prophylaxis of the visible surface of teeth and the gum line as well as removing infected tissue and debris below the surface of the gums. Cleaning tartar that has accumulated beneath the gum line can help prevent the progression of the disease and its side effects like tooth loss.
A special form of periodontal cleaning called scaling and root planing involves subgingival cleaning. Using tiny dental instruments, the innermost areas of the gums are accessed and all tartar accumulation below the gums is gently removed. The area being cleaned is irrigated to remove all remnants of debris. Then the roots of teeth are filed gently to ensure that their surfaces are smooth, which will help prevent the attachment of new tartar.
Other treatment options might include the need for improved oral hygiene at home, mouth rinses, and prescription medications like antibiotics.
Once you have received treatment for gum disease, it is important to follow your dentist’s recommendations closely – especially when it comes to keeping follow up appointments for treatment. When we perform periodontal prophylaxis on patients with gum disease, it might be necessary for these patients to receive more than the standard two dental cleanings each year. Some people may require two standard dental cleanings per year plus periodontal cleanings like scaling and root planing to control infected gums. Part of periodontal maintenance also involves patients making a commitment to their oral health. Those who have struggled with gum disease need to practice vigilant oral hygiene.
Your gum health is important to our team at Evers & Gardner Dental. If you have been diagnosed with gum disease or suspect you have it, call our office to schedule a checkup.