Your gums are vital to the health of your teeth. They provide support for the teeth as well as blood flow to the jaw and tooth structure. As part of your routine examination, Dr. Whitaker and our hygienists will monitor your gums for signs of periodontal disease. This condition can often be treated in our office with periodontal therapy supported by effective home care and medicated rinses.
What is Periodontal Disease?
Periodontal (gum) disease occurs when bacteria penetrate beneath the gum line. It is a progressive condition that will infect and deteriorate gum tissue, and eventually, tooth structure and bone. If this condition is not treated early, tissue and bone will continue to recess until there is not enough support for the tooth, resulting in tooth loss.
Prevention and Early Detection
Periodontal disease can be avoided with regular dental check-ups and good home care. Even with these measures, sometimes infection can occur. Early warning signs include tender, bleeding gums, persistent bad breath, and ‘pockets’ of space between the teeth and gums. In more advanced cases, gum tissue may have receded significantly and teeth may be loose.
Non-surgical Periodontal Therapy
If detected early, gum disease can be treated in our office with non-surgical periodontal therapy. This process includes more frequent visits, every 3-4 months, for deep cleaning and topical treatment of infected tissue to promote healthy growth. In cases of advanced periodontal disease or excessive bone loss, Dr. Whitaker may refer patients to a periodontal specialist for treatment.
If you are experiencing any signs or symptoms of periodontal disease, schedule an exam and periodontal assessment to get back on track with your oral health.