Periodontal Disease Treatment in Loxahatchee
Did you know that approximately half of all U.S. adults have some level of gum disease? Even worse, many people don’t realize it because gum disease often doesn’t have any symptoms until it is well advanced.
At Groves Dental Care, we take gum disease very seriously. You can think of your gums as having a similar function as the foundation of your house. If the foundation your house sits on is damaged or weak, your house will suffer.
Your gums provide stability and protection for your teeth, but when they are diseased, they cause damage to the bone structure that holds your teeth in place. Gum disease is the number one cause for lost teeth in American adults.
Additionally, researchers have recently discovered a link between gum health and overall systemic health. Gum disease has been linked to a number of serious systemic conditions, including heart disease, diabetes, respiratory disease, and even Alzheimer’s disease.
What Is Gum Disease?
As plaque and tartar build up near or just beneath the gumline, your gums become irritated and inflamed. In response, the bone that firmly anchors your teeth in your mouth slowly starts to disappear, moving away from the inflammation. As the bone disappears, deeper and deeper pockets are created in between your gums and your teeth. These deeper pockets continue to trap more and more plaque, which advances the periodontal disease, creating a cycle of damage.
Once enough bone loss occurs, your teeth will start to become loose. When teeth become loose, they often cannot be saved. At Groves Dental Care, we want you to have healthy gums, keep your teeth, and enjoy systemic health.
During your dental examinations, you have probably experienced the dentist “measuring your pockets.” The dentist uses a tiny ruler and calls out numbers, which are entered in your record. If you are hearing ones, twos, and threes during this process, you are in pretty good shape. If you are hearing fours or higher, however, you probably have some level of gum disease.
Signs and symptoms of progressing gum disease include:
- Red, puffy, tender gums
- Bleeding when you brush or floss
- Gum recession, which causes your teeth to appear longer
- Chronic bad breath
- A sense that your teeth are loose
If you find that you have any of these signs or symptoms, call our office right away for an evaluation.
Treating Gum Disease
When gum disease is caught early, it can often be reversed by simply improving your home care routine. Our hygienist will spend time during each cleaning to review your home care routine with you and provide you with tips and recommendations so you can get the most out of this important habit.
If your condition is more advanced, we will need to provide you with specific gum therapy. The main reason why people need gum therapy as opposed to a regular cleaning is that calculus (tartar) has built up on the teeth below the gumline. Unfortunately, tartar can only be removed manually by a hygienist or a doctor.
Removing tartar is similar to removing barnacles from a dock. Barnacles are very difficult to remove, just like tartar on your teeth. The use of specialized instruments by a hygienist or dentist is the only way to remove tartar safely and effectively.
No medications, mouth rinses, flosses, or toothbrushes will help treat periodontal disease once you have it. Advanced gum disease can only be treated by manually removing the calculus build-up. This build-up, commonly referred to as tartar, is made up of a group of harmful bacteria that cause inflammation. Over time, the build-up causes bone loss and creates the early stages of periodontal disease. Many people never realize that this is happening because, like many other dental problems, periodontal disease doesn't hurt at the beginning stages. Far too many people end up losing teeth unnecessarily for this same reason.
Catching periodontal disease early can help you avoid a lot of challenges, so please come see us if you are having any concerns about your gums.
What Is Involved in Gum Therapy?
The main difference between a regular cleaning and gum therapy is the depth of the build-up below the gumline and the fact that we will introduce an anesthetic. The rest of the process is essentially the same as a regular cleaning. The only reason we apply local anesthetic during gum therapy is make sure you are completely comfortable. You should not have any discomfort at all during this procedure.
Call for an Evaluation
Has it been a while since your last cleaning? Are you seeing some worrisome signs or symptoms?
Call our Loxahatchee dental office today to schedule a cleaning and examination!