Gum Disease & Periodontal Treatment
Imagine finding out that "Dental Neglect" could lead to a heart attack? Well, it can! And that’s not all it can lead to. There’s mounting evidence that gum disease, and the resulting infection, can cause a whole host of SERIOUS health problems.
Gum disease (also called periodontal disease) is an infection of the tissues surrounding and supporting the teeth. It is a major cause of tooth loss in adults. In fact, after age 35, about three out of four adults are affected by some form of gum disease. Gum disease is caused by plaque, a sticky film of bacteria that constantly forms on the teeth. These bacteria create toxins that can damage the gums. In the early stage of gum disease, called gingivitis, the gums can become red, swollen and bleed easily. At this stage, the disease is still reversible and can usually be eliminated by daily brushing and flossing.
Because gum disease in Brandon, FL is usually painless, however, you may not know you have it. In the more advanced stages of gum disease, called periodontitis, the gums and bone that support the teeth can become seriously damaged. The teeth can become loose, fall out or have to be removed by a dentist.
Signs and symptoms of gum disease
The following chart provides you with healthy gums and the progression of gingivitis, early signs of periodontitis, moderate periodontitis and advanced periodontitis. If you notice any of the following signs of gum disease, see your dentist immediately:
- Gums that bleed when you brush your teeth.
- Red, swollen, tender gums or gums that have pulled away from the teeth.
- Bad breath that doesn't go away.
- Pus between your teeth and gums.
- Loose teeth.
- A change in the way your teeth fit when you bite.
- A change in the fit of partial dentures.
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Cleaning and scaling gum disease
In order to prevent gum disease from spreading to other areas of the mouth, a deep cleaning will usually be performed which consists of scaling & pocket reading. Gum disease treatment in Brandon, FL works by first, scaling and removing bacteria. After the harmful material on the teeth have been removed, the dentist will plane the root of the tooth. This consists of reshaping the root of each tooth, eliminating areas where plaque and tartar have caused significant damage. During this deep cleaning an anesthetic is used and followed by an antibiotic (helps the healing process).
Periodontal cleanings are extremely important for those affected by gum disease or people who are older. These deep cleanings help to mitigate the damage caused by gum disease as well as help to prevent bacteria from accumulating on the root of the tooth where it can cause tooth loss & even enter the bloodstream of the individual.
Pocket reading and the knowledge/experience associated with this dental evaluation is extremely important. Pock reading is when the dentist or hygienist measures the depth of the pocket of your gums which are formed around your teeth. Healthy gums fit snugly around your teeth as opposed to deep pocket which happens due to plaque and tartar build up. Gum disease can cause inflammation of the gums and result in a deep periodontal pocket around your teeth. This would be like a large glove around a small hand.
A deep pocket allows more bacteria to get into the area causing even more inflammation. During a pocket reading a thin measuring “stick” is placed between your teeth and the gums, measuring the depth thereof. If the dentist determines that the gap poses danger for your oral health, measures should be considered to be taken as soon as possible.
Periodontal Surgery in Brandon, FL
Often times the deep cleaning is not enough to fix moderate to severe gum disease cases. If major damage has taken place, the patient might need to undergo surgery. Surgery options include but are not limited to the following.
(H3) Pocket reduction surgery: This reaches deep areas that need to be cleaned and repaired. This is often referred to as “flap surgery” which is when incisions are made to the gums, allowing the dentist to access the base of the tooth and its roots. This allows him/her to clean out the infected areas.
Crown lengthening: A cosmetic surgery that consists of the dentist “pulling” the gums down away from the teeth.
Gum shaping: This surgery smooths and/or softens the gums into to achieve the desired appearance. Grafts: These surgeries replace the lost and/or damaged tissue or bone with healthy substitutes. Grafts can come from donors, synthetic sources or the patient from healthy areas.