Faster, Gentler Periodontal Disease Treatment
Periodontal disease, a progressive condition that affects the supporting structures of the teeth, is incredibly common and easy to miss in the early stages. As gum disease advances, it can lead to tooth loss and have detrimental effects on overall and oral health.
At DiBartola Dental, our Bridgeville, PA dentists, Dr. Wayne DiBartola and Dr. Capp, are here to provide thorough advice on how to identify gum disease and effective periodontal disease treatment. Learn how we can help patients just like you restore their oral health and prevent further complications.
Understanding Gum Disease
Periodontal disease, commonly known as gum disease, begins with the accumulation of plaque, a sticky film of bacteria that forms on the teeth and along the gumline. If it’s not removed through regular brushing and flossing, plaque can harden into tartar, which can’t be removed without professional dental cleanings. The acid produced as waste by the bacteria in plaque and tartar eats away at gum tissue, causing gum inflammation and infection.
Stages of Periodontal Disease
Gingivitis is the initial stage of gum disease, characterized by gum inflammation. It occurs when plaque, a sticky film of bacteria, builds up along the gumline. Common signs of gingivitis include:
- Redness and swelling of the gums
- Bleeding gums, especially during brushing or flossing
- Persistent bad breath
- Gum sensitivity
At this stage, the bone and connective tissues that support the teeth are still intact. With proper oral hygiene and professional dental care, gingivitis can be reversed and the gums can return to a healthy state.
If gingivitis is left untreated, it can progress to periodontitis. In this stage, the infection spreads below the gumline, causing the gums to pull away from the teeth, forming pockets. Plaque and tartar accumulate in these pockets, leading to further infection and damage to the supporting structures. There are different forms of periodontitis, including:
- Chronic Periodontitis: This is the most common form of periodontitis and progresses slowly. It causes inflammation and gradual degradation of the gums, bone, and tissues supporting the teeth.
- Aggressive Periodontitis: This form of periodontitis typically affects younger individuals and progresses rapidly. It involves the loss of bone and connective tissue attachment around the teeth.
- Necrotizing Periodontal Disease: This rare and severe form of periodontitis is characterized by the death of gum tissue, connective tissue, and bone. It often occurs in individuals with suppressed immune systems.
Signs of periodontitis may include:
- Receding gums
- Formation of deep pockets between the teeth and gums
- Loose or shifting teeth
- Changes in bite alignment
- Persistent bad breath
- Gum abscesses (pus-filled sacs)
Prompt treatment is essential at this stage to prevent further damage and tooth loss.
Advanced periodontitis is the most severe stage of gum disease. By this point, the infection has caused significant degradation of the gums, connective tissues, and bone supporting the teeth. Common symptoms include:
- Severe gum recession, exposing the tooth roots
- Deep pockets with pus formation
- Loose or missing teeth
- Severe bone loss leading to changes in facial structure
At this stage, tooth loss is a significant concern, and extensive dental intervention may be necessary to stabilize the condition and restore oral health.
It’s important to note that gum disease is preventable with proper oral hygiene practices and regular dental visits. If you notice any signs or symptoms of gum disease, seek professional care as soon as possible to prevent the condition from progressing.
The Risks of Untreated Gum Disease
Allowing gum disease to go untreated can have severe consequences for your oral health and overall well-being.
- Tooth Loss: As gum
disease progresses, it can destroy the supporting structures that hold the teeth in place, leading to tooth loss.
- Bone Loss: The infection from gum disease can affect the underlying jawbone, causing bone loss and weakening the foundation of the teeth.
- Systemic Health Issues: Studies have linked gum disease to various systemic health conditions, including heart disease, diabetes, respiratory problems, and certain types of cancer. Treating gum disease can help reduce the risk of developing these complications.
- Aesthetic Concerns: Advanced gum disease can cause gum recession, resulting in an unattractive smile and exposed tooth roots.
Gum Disease Treatment Options
At DiBartola Dental, we offer effective treatment options for gum disease to halt its progression and restore oral health. Our experienced dental team will assess the severity of your condition and recommend the most appropriate treatment plan. Some of the treatment options we provide include:
Laser-Assisted Root Planing and Scaling
Laser-assisted root planing and scaling is laser technology that can remove plaque, tartar, and bacteria from the root surfaces of the teeth and the pockets. It involves using a dental laser to remove plaque, tartar, and bacteria from the root surfaces and pockets between the gums and teeth. This procedure promotes gum reattachment, reduces pocket depth, and supports the healing process.
The laser’s precision allows for thorough cleaning in hard-to-reach areas, while its heat sterilizes the treated area. Compared to traditional techniques, laser-assisted root planing and scaling often results in less discomfort and swelling, faster healing, and minimal downtime.
In some cases, your Bridgeville dentist may prescribe antibiotics to eliminate the bacteria causing the infection. Antibiotics are medications that treat bacterial infections. They work by inhibiting the growth or killing the bacteria to alleviate the symptoms of the infection and promote recovery. Antibiotics can be taken orally or topically, as in applied directly to the affected areas. Sometimes, antibiotics are prescribed alongside other treatments to make periodontal disease treatment more effective.
Following gum disease treatment, regular periodontal maintenance visits are crucial to monitor the condition, clean the teeth and gums thoroughly, and prevent the recurrence of gum disease.
Frequently Asked Questions
While gum disease cannot be completely cured, it can be effectively managed and controlled through proper treatment and ongoing maintenance. With timely intervention, the progression of gum disease can be halted, and further complications can be avoided.
The duration of gum disease treatment depends on the severity of the condition. Mild cases may be resolved with non-surgical treatments over a few appointments, while advanced cases may require more extensive procedures and follow-up care.
Laser-assisted root planing and scaling are generally well-tolerated by patients. The procedure is performed while the patient is under a local anesthetic to ensure comfort. Laser technology also minimizes discomfort and promotes faster healing compared to traditional methods.
To prevent gum disease from recurring, it’s essential to maintain good oral hygiene practices, including regular brushing and flossing. Additionally, scheduling routine dental check-ups and cleanings and following your dentist’s recommendations will help keep your gums healthy.
Call DiBartola Dental for Effective Periodontal Disease Treatment
Don’t let gum disease compromise your oral health and overall well-being. At DiBartola Dental in Bridgeville, PA, our skilled team provides effective periodontal disease treatment options, including laser-assisted root planing and scaling. By seeking timely treatment and practicing good oral hygiene habits, you can protect your smile and prevent further complications.
Contact our Bridgeville dental office by dialing (412) 221-9440 or schedule a consultation to treat your symptoms or learn how to prevent periodontal disease altogether. DiBartola Dental provides periodontal disease treatment options to patients in Bridgeville and surrounding areas such as Heidelberg, Carnegie, & Upper Saint Clair, PA.