Periodontitis is serious inflammation of the gums that results in damage to the bone and tissues that support the teeth. The inflammation is caused by bacteria that build up in plaque on the teeth above and below the gum line. Because the disease is often silent in its early stages with no symptoms, considerable damage can occur before a patient ever even knows that something is amiss.
Preventing Gum Disease
Regular brushing and flossing are the first steps in preventing gum disease. The second step is regular dental cleanings. During your dental hygiene appointment, we don’t just clean your teeth, we also remove tartar from beneath the gum line – a place that you can’t reach at home on your own. Without regular dental hygiene appointments, the tartar would remain under your gums causing damage to soft tissues and bone. In addition to that, smoking and certain health conditions contribute to periodontal disease, so it is important that we have a clear picture of your overall health.
Signs of Gum Disease
- Red, swollen gums
- Bleeding while brushing
- Receding gums
- Loose teeth
- Bad breath
- Sores in the mouth
- Change in bite
Gingivitis vs. Periodontitis
Gingivitis is the first stages of gum inflammation – it is reversible when caught early. If it is not addressed, however, it will progress into periodontitis, which can cause irreversible damage to the structures of the mouth.
How to Treat Gum Disease
Dr. Leon-Guerrero can treat many cases of periodontal disease right here in our office using a variety of advanced techniques. Your treatment will include the measuring (and recording) of the pocket depths around your teeth (to monitor the progression of the disease), removal of plaque and tartar, and x-rays to determine the health of the supporting bone. Periodontal surgery is sometimes necessary.
ARESTIN® is an antibiotic that is sometimes used to halt the progression of periodontal disease. It is applied directly to the pockets of your gums to kill bacteria and stop inflammation.
Scaling and Root Planing
This is a combination of treatments that are very effective in the fight against gum disease. Scaling is the removal of the plaque and tartar on the tooth, above and below the gum line. Root planing is the process of smoothing the tooth roots, which serves to remove bacteria and to discourage it from colonizing there in the future.
Periodontitis is a serious disease, as it can lead to the loss of teeth and have negative effects throughout the body. We can help! Please call us at Jennifer Leon-Guerrero, DMD in Modesto CA Office Phone Number 209-544-3413.