Periodontal disease, also known as gum disease, is one of the most serious and pervasive oral and overall health problems. According to some estimates, at least half of all American adults have some form of it. Cases range from mild (gingivitis) to severe (periodontitis), and the most common symptoms include:
- Red or irritated gums
- Gums that bleed when you brush or floss
- Frequent bad breath
- Receding gum line
- Loose teeth
Unfortunately, many people are unaware they have gum disease until the condition has advanced and requires professional treatment. In this case, gum disease can also lead to general health concerns, such as cardiovascular disease, pneumonia and respiratory illness, or diabetes.
Prevent Periodontal Disease
To prevent periodontal disease from seriously altering your smile, we recommend maintaining routine cleanings and exams with our Wylie dental team. During your regular checkups, your hygienist and Dr. Guardiola monitor your teeth and gums for any of the symptoms listed above. If we notice anything, we create a treatment plan to help you address it as quickly as possible.
In many cases, gingivitis can be reverse with more frequent professional cleanings in our office and a more thorough brushing and flossing routine at home. Some people make the mistake of curtailing their oral health care at home when their gums begin to bleed. However, this symptom is actually a sign to stringently continue brushing and flossing. By doing so, you remove plaque, that sticky biofilm our mouths produce all day everyday. Hiding in that plaque are the bacteria that cause gum disease. So, if you see blood when you brush or floss, don’t stop! Be gentle, but be sure to continue.
Periodontitis requires more advanced treatment to correct and control. Many advanced cases of periodontal disease are addressed with scaling and root planing. Scaling is performed by one of our skilled dental hygienists. During this procedure, plaque and tartar (mineralized plaque) are removed from the surfaces of your teeth both above and below the gum line. Then, during root planing, the root surfaces are made smoother. With this smooth surface, plaque and tartar are less likely to be able to cling and start gum disease. Sometimes an antibiotic is also recommended to eliminate the presence of bacteria. The antibiotic is inserted directly into enlarged gum pockets around your teeth.
If you think you’re struggling with periodontal disease because you see some of the signs and symptoms mentioned above, contact our office to schedule a consultation with Dr. Guardiola. He and our staff will clean your teeth and carefully examine your gums. We’ll also probe and chart the depth of your gum pockets. Healthy gum pockets measure less than four millimeters deep, while those that are deeper can indicate the presence of gum disease. In this case, Dr. Guardiola will develop a treatment plan that restores your gum health. We offer periodontal therapy to patients from Murphy, Lucas, Sachse, and all nearby communities.