Periodontal Therapy

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Healthy Gums for Healthy Life

Gum Health Supports Your Overall Health

Periodontal (gum) disease, or periodontitis, is a common oral disease affecting almost half of US adults aged 30 years and older. The disease is caused by inflammation of the gums and bone structure that support the teeth.

Untreated gum disease is a leading cause of tooth and jawbone loss and increases the risk of systemic diseases such as diabetes, heart disease, and stroke. Early diagnosis and periodontal treatment are necessary to restore healthy gums, save the tooth, and protect general health.

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Common Symptoms of Gum Disease

Periodontal disease starts with bacterial overgrowth from plaque and tartar in the mouth. It then progresses to infection or inflammation that eventually spreads to the deep spaces between the teeth and gums called the periodontal pockets. Symptoms are not always noticeable in the early stages. When they finally show, you may experience:

  • Red, swollen gums
  • Tender gums
  • Persistent bad breath
  • Loose tooth
  • Tooth sensitivity or pain when chewing
  • Exposed tooth root
  • Bleeding when brushing or flossing
  • Gums appear pulled back from the teeth (receding gums)

The Stages of Periodontal Disease

Stage 1. Gingivitis

Gingivitis, or gum inflammation, is a mild form of gum disease. The disease is in its early stages at this time and causes irritation, redness, swelling, and bleeding of your gums around the base of your teeth. Treatment at this stage can prevent the condition from progressing to full-blown periodontitis.

Stage 2. Periodontitis

By now, the gum tissue begins to separate from the teeth, leaving the gum pockets open. Infection-causing bacteria enter the pockets and continue destroying the tissue and bone beneath that hold your teeth snugly in place. In the more advanced stage, the gum also recedes, exposing more of the tooth surface and possibly the tooth root. Loose tooth and tooth loss may occur.

How Can I Tell I Have Gum Disease?

The symptoms are a telltale sign but don't always mean periodontal disease. Our highly experienced team of dental professionals can properly assess and diagnose your symptoms before recommending the appropriate treatment.

Periodontal Treatment Options

We will discuss one or more of the following options before personalizing a treatment plan that will help stop the disease from advancing. Treatment goals also include promoting gum health and bone regrowth.

Non-surgical procedures

  • Professional dental cleanings: If the disease is at the gingivitis stage, routine dental cleanings can sufficiently remove build-up plaque and tartar from above and beneath the gum line. Professional cleaning every 2-3 months is sometimes required to prevent the disease from advancing.
  • Antibiotics: Antibacterial medication can be placed in the gum pockets to control infection and inflammation of the gum tissue.
  • Scaling and root planing: This treatment, also called deep cleaning, can effectively treat mild periodontitis. A special dental tool is used to scrape away (scaling) bacteria, plaque, and tartar from above and below the gum line. The tooth surface is then smoothed (planing) to prevent bacteria from sticking and infecting healthy gums.

Surgical procedures (done under anesthetic)

  • Flap surgery/pocket reduction surgery: This procedure involves gently pulling back the gums to remove plaque, tartar, and bacteria from the tooth root. Any diseased gum tissue is also removed. Rough surfaces of the damaged bone are smoothed or reshaped to limit harmful bacteria growth. Next, the gums are sutured in a way that reduces the gum pocket depth and helps them reattach to the bone.
  • Soft tissue grafts: Grafted tissue is taken from the roof of the mouth to cover the tooth root that is exposed due to gum recession. Grafting helps improve gum health and protects against tooth loss.
  • Bone grafts: Fragments of your own bone, man-made bone, or donated bone is used to stimulate regrowth of the bone destroyed by periodontal disease. Bone grafts help the teeth to reattach to new, healthy bone.
  • Guided tissue regeneration: Usually done after flap surgery. A mesh-like material is placed between the bone and gum tissue to encourage healthy regrowth of bone and connective tissue. Bone height also increases, providing stronger support for the teeth.
  • Bone surgery: Moderate to advanced bone loss causes shallow dents in the surface of the bone around the tooth. During bone surgery, our periodontist will smooth the dents and reshape the bone. This makes it harder for infectious bacteria to build up on the tooth's surface.

Get in Touch with The Dental Wellness Company

If you suspect you have a gum infection, we encourage you to speak with our trusted dental team in Chagrin Falls, Ohio. We will apply our dental expertise to provide you with high-quality periodontal treatment and services in a safe and compassionate environment. Call to schedule an appointment today.

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