Periodontal treatment can help you regain your oral health. Registered in periodontal treatment, the dental hygienists at our Corpus Christi, TX, practice have the experience needed to help if your condition requires care beyond a standard cleaning. Led by Drs. Charles Robertson and Nicholas Perry Orchard, they can administer treatment if your gums bleed, feel tender, look red, or you have been told that you have gum disease. Contact us today to schedule an appointment with one of our hygienists.
How Periodontal Disease Can Affect You
Deemed an epidemic by the Surgeon General in 2010, periodontal disease affects more than half of all adults in the U.S. It has also been linked to an increased risk for many systemic health conditions, including:
- Heart disease
- Respiratory disease
- Low-weight births
- Alzheimer’s disease
- Diabetes complications
- Rheumatoid arthritis
We stress to our patients that periodontal disease can affect the health of the entire body. For this reason, it is important that you receive timely treatment if you suffer from this condition.
Causes of Periodontal Disease
Poor oral hygiene is the main cause of gum disease, but other risk factors include hormone fluctuations, use of certain medications, specific diseases, dry mouth, low immunity, substance abuse, tobacco use, diabetes, and heredity.
If you fail to brush and floss regularly, your mouth will be susceptible to plaque and tartar build-up. Plaque is a sticky, naturally-occurring substance produced by and containing bacteria. When you consume starches, including sugars, bacteria create plaque. Every 24 hours or so, plaque reforms, so daily brushing and flossing is imperative to maintain good oral health.
If left on teeth for 48 hours, plaque hardens into calculus, also called tartar. This calcified plaque irritates gum tissue and causes infection to develop. The bacterial infection eats away connective tissues between the gums and teeth, creating pockets at the gum line. Commonly, gums become tender, red, and swollen as a result of periodontitis, but in some cases, gum disease presents no symptoms.
Untreated gum disease worsens as bacteria reproduce, leading to gum recession and even tooth loss. With time, advanced gum disease even kills jawbone tissue. Seek treatment if any indicators are present.
What to Expect During a Deep Cleaning
Before periodontal disease progresses to cause significant damage, it can be treated by a certified dental hygienist, dentist, or periodontist. At our office, hygienists perform deep cleanings to stop the advance of gum disease. A deep cleaning may involve:
- Scaling: removal of plaque and tartar from below the gum line with local anesthetic
- Root planing: smoothing rough surfaces on tooth roots, which eliminates areas that tend to allow calculus to build up
- Debridement: cleaning bacteria from pockets along the gum line
- Antibiotic treatment: sometimes administered to further battle infection
- Local anesthetic and nitrous oxide for comfort
Deep cleaning may require multiple appointments to achieve the best results. Expect to visit our hygienists every few months for a check-up. One of our hygienists will evaluate your gums to determine whether they are healing or worsening over time. With diligent professional and at-home care, patients who suffer from gum disease can regain good oral health and deter recurrence.
Referrals for Advanced Treatment
When gum disease progresses into periodontitis, the patient needs to visit a gum specialist called a periodontist. Treatment may involve removing affected gum or bone tissue so that the mouth can heal. In some cases, tissue grafting is necessary to restore good oral health. If teeth have been lost to gum disease, our dentists can speak with you about dental implants and traditional restorations.
Schedule an Appointment
The stakes are high for developing gum disease. The good news is, technology and treatment has evolved tremendously in the past decade, and the condition is treatable. Contact us to schedule an appointment today and learn more.