You don’t need to be a dentist to see that there is a lot going on in your mouth other than your teeth. Your pearly whites are actually supported by your gums and underlying jawbone, and without proper oral hygiene, they can actually develop an infection called periodontal disease. This is the most common dental problem in the world (even more so than cavities!), and it’s also the leading cause of adult tooth loss in the US. If your gums look red or feel sensitive, be sure to give us a call so we can stop the infection and put your oral health back on track with periodontal therapy in Flower Mound, TX.
If any of these symptoms sound familiar, then you very well might have periodontal disease:
Because periodontal disease literally attacks the tissues holding your teeth in place, eventually, it can cause them to fall out, which is why it’s important to seek out treatment as soon as you notice these signs.
The best way to diagnose periodontal disease isn’t to just look closely at your gums in the mirror, but rather to come see us here at Bridlewood Dental. Dr. Song can examine your gums, and his experience will allow him to see things you simply won’t notice at home. He’ll also be able to determine what phase of periodontal disease you have (early or advanced), which will inform what type of treatment is best.
The primary cause of periodontal disease is bacteria-filled plaque building up on the teeth below the gum line. This is usually the result of a lack of consistent oral hygiene. There are certain factors that can make a person more susceptible to developing it as well, such as consuming a diet high in sugar, having a medical condition that suppresses the immune system, and tobacco use.
The first line of treatment for periodontal disease is usually a deep cleaning that consists of two distinct techniques: scaling and root planing. Scaling simply involves removing the accumulated plaque and tartar located near and under the gum line. Once this is completed, root planing is used to gently smooth and reshape the roots of the teeth. This makes it harder for plaque to gather around the gums in the future, thus lowering the risk of reinfection.
As periodontal disease progresses, it’s common for pockets of bacteria to form along the gum line, and these can be extremely difficult to clean with scaling and root planing alone. So, we can apply an antibiotic called Arestin directly to the gums that is designed to slowly dissolve and reach the bottom of the pockets. Over the course of a week or so, this kills even the most well-hidden bacteria, and a patient won’t even notice Arestin while it’s working!
Thankfully, periodontal disease is easily preventable just like cavities and bad breath. All someone has to do is brush and floss at least twice a day and come see us here at Bridlewood Dental for two checkups and cleanings each year. This will prevent bad bacteria and plaque from building up in the mouth, and if an infection does develop, it will be caught early during a checkup so we can take care of it right away.