Understanding Periodontal Disease
Periodontal disease is caused by the buildup of bacterial plaque on and around your teeth. If it is not removed during brushing and flossing, this plaque is allowed to proliferate and multiply, eventually causing gum disease. If it is left untreated, periodontal disease can lead to inflammation of the gums, gum recession, and eventually, tooth and bone loss. Maintaining good oral hygiene at home and attending regular appointments for check-ups and cleanings with our office can greatly reduce your risk of developing this serious condition.
Signs and Symptoms
Due to the serious health problems that can result from periodontal disease, it is imperative to catch and treat the condition in its early stages. It is important to be mindful of symptoms of periodontal disease, which include:
- Bleeding gums when brushing or flossing
- Swollen or tender gums
- Receding gums, causing the teeth to appear longer
- Chronic bad breath
If you have noticed any of these signs, it is crucial to seek treatment right away to prevent further damage to your oral health.
Caught in its early stages, periodontal disease treatment can be as simple as a prescription mouthwash and ensuring you are implementing proper brushing and flossing techniques. These Food and Drug Administration (FDA)-approved medications inhibit bacteria's ability to stick to the surface of your teeth, which reduces the amount of plaque buildup and stops the disease from progressing.
If gum disease has progressed past the point that mouthwashes can help, Dr. Whiteman may recommend a scaling and root planing procedure. Also known as a deep cleaning, this treatment reaches all the way down to the roots of the teeth to remove any buildup of bacterial plaque. Antimicrobial medication will typically be administered to ensure the health of the tooth's roots. Dr. Whiteman also uses laser therapy to treat inflamed tissue and remove calculus deposits that are located beneath the gum line. This minimally invasive procedure is linked to better patient outcomes than traditional periodontal treatment techniques.
Make a Periodontal Care Appointment
If you have concerns about your periodontal health, please contact our office to schedule a consultation with Dr. Whiteman.