Periodontal disease, commonly referred to as gum disease, is a common oral health problem affecting millions of people. It is a progressive condition that can lead to serious complications if left untreated. While there are several treatments available to treat gum disease, the sooner it is addressed, the better the outcome will be. There is a chance for permanent damage if it reaches the advanced stages. Flower Mound Dental offers several treatments for gum disease in Flower Mound, TX. During your regular dental checkup, your dentist will be screening for this progressive disease and providing prompt treatment to keep your oral health in check.
What is Periodontal Disease and What Causes It?
Periodontal disease is an inflammatory condition that affects the soft tissue that supports the teeth. These tissues include the gums, periodontal ligaments, and alveolar bone. Gum disease is primarily caused by a buildup of plaque, a sticky film of bacteria that forms on the teeth. When plaque is not removed through regular brushing and flossing, it hardens into tartar. Tartar leads to inflammation of the gums and eventual damage to the supporting structures of the teeth.
There are several things that will increase your risk factor for periodontal disease including:
- Smoking and using tobacco products. These habits reduce blood flow to the gums, making it harder for the body to heal any type of periodontal infection.
- Some patients are genetically predisposed to gum disease, making it easier for them to develop this dental condition.
- There are several diseases, such diabetes and autoimmune disorders, which can increase your risk of gum disease.
- Some types of medication, such as antihypertensives and anticonvulsants, can contribute to gum tissue changes.
- Women who are pregnant, going through menopause, or menstruating are more susceptible to gum tissue inflammation due to hormonal changes.
- A diet that lacks proper nutrients can weaken your immune system and make it harder for the body to fight off infections that may develop in the gums.
Stages of Periodontal Disease
- Gingivitis: Gingivitis is the earliest stage of gum disease. Most people may not even know they have it because the symptoms can be minor. It is characterized by inflamed, red, and bleeding gums. At this stage, the damage is often reversible with proper oral hygiene and professional dental cleanings.
- Periodontitis: If gingivitis is not treated, it can progress to periodontitis. During this stage, the inflammation spreads deeper into the supporting structures of the teeth. Periodontitis can cause gum recession, pockets between the teeth and gums, bone loss, and tooth mobility.
- Advanced Periodontitis: In advanced periodontitis, the supporting bone and tissues continue to be destroyed, leading to severe tooth mobility, tooth loss, and potential complications for overall health. Much of the damage at this point is irreversible. Restorative dentistry is required to restore oral health once the disease is under control.
Symptoms of Periodontal Disease
Several signs and symptoms indicate the presence of periodontal disease, including:
- Persistent bad breath
- Red, swollen, or tender gums
- Bleeding gums, especially during brushing or flossing
- Receding gums
- Loose or shifting teeth
- Pus between the teeth and gums
- Changes in your bite or the fit of dentures
If you notice any of these symptoms, it’s crucial to consult a dentist promptly for an evaluation.
Treatment for Gum Disease in Flower Mound, TX
- Scaling and Root Planing: Your Flower Mound dentist will perform this deep cleaning procedure as a first line of defense against gum disease. It involves removing plaque and tartar from above and below the gumline (scaling) and smoothing the tooth roots to promote gum reattachment (root planing).
- Antibiotics: We may prescribe antibiotics, either oral or topical, to control bacterial infections associated with periodontal disease. It may be in the form of a mouth rinse, gel, or oral medication.
- Restorative Dental Care: If your periodontal disease has caused significant damage to your teeth, restorative dentistry treatments such as dental crowns, bridges, or dental implants may be necessary to replace your lost teeth and restore your oral function.
- Surgery: For advanced periodontitis, surgical interventions may be required. These can include flap surgery (lifting the gums to remove tartar and repair damaged bone) or bone and tissue grafts to regenerate lost bone and gum tissue. We will refer you to specialist for a consultation and advanced periodontal treatment.
Preventing Periodontal Disease
Prevention is the key to maintaining healthy gums and teeth. At every regular dental checkup, we educate our patients on how to prevent gum disease. Here are 4 essential tips we tell every patient to prevent periodontal disease:
- Regular Oral Hygiene: Brush your teeth at least twice a day and floss daily to remove plaque and prevent its buildup. You can add mouthwash if you are at a higher risk for developing it.
- Regular Dental Check-ups: Visit our Flower Mound dental office for regular teeth cleanings and check-ups to detect and treat gum disease in its early stages.
- Healthy Lifestyle: Avoid smoking, which is a significant risk factor for gum disease. Additionally, maintain a balanced diet and limit sugary foods and drinks.
- Manage Stress: Chronic stress can weaken the immune system, making you more susceptible to gum infections. Practice stress-reducing techniques such as exercise, meditation, or hobbies you enjoy.
Contact us at 972-640-7891 or request an appointment online for more information about the management of gum disease in Flower Mound, TX.