Periodontal disease, or gum disease, is a dental concern that plagues many of our patients. Unfortunately, it is one of the top reasons for tooth loss in adults. Many patients do not know they have the disease until it requires extensive restorative care because the beginning stage of this oral health disease it is virtually pain-free. At your regularly scheduled preventative dental care appointments, Dr. Paul Bowersox examines your smile for signs and symptoms of gum disease. If found, he provides comprehensive periodontal disease treatment in Westminster, MD.
What is Gum Disease?
Periodontal disease develops when a patient does not practice good oral hygiene habits. A substance called plaque constantly forms in your mouth. It is filled with harmful bacteria and needs to be removed from your mouth daily. If plaque is left behind, it will harden into a substance called tartar. Both plaque and tartar can harm your gums. The bacteria in them will first irritate the gums and that will slowly lead to infections and damage. Gingivitis, the first stage of gum disease, can be easily treated. However, if left to progress into periodontitis, the more advanced stage of gum disease, it can lead to serious damage. If gum disease is not treated as soon as possible, it can lead to recessed gums, bone loss and tooth loss.
What are the Signs and Symptoms of Periodontal Disease?
Gingivitis (Early Stage)
- Red or swollen gums
- Gums that bleed easily when brushing or flossing
- Bad breath (halitosis)
- Tender or sensitive gums
- Gums that appear to have pulled away from the teeth, creating pockets
Periodontitis (Advanced Stage)
- All the symptoms of gingivitis, but more pronounced
- Receding gums, making teeth appear longer
- Formation of pockets between teeth and gums
- Changes in the way teeth fit together when biting
- Loose or shifting teeth
- Changes in the fit of partial dentures
- Pus between teeth and gums
- Changes in the fit of dentures
- Changes in the alignment of teeth
- Severe bone loss, leading to teeth becoming loose or even falling out
- Gum recession and exposed tooth roots
- Severe inflammation and infection
- Changes in facial appearance due to tooth and bone loss
Periodontal Disease Treatment in Westminster, MD
Your periodontal disease treatment in Westminster, MD will depend on the severity of your condition. In most cases, When Dr. Bowersox discovers gum disease is in its earliest stages, he can treat it with a thorough teeth cleaning. He will teach you how to better care for your teeth can gums at home between your regular dental appointments. However, advanced periodontal disease will require more intensive and invasive treatments.
- Scaling and Root Planing: This deep cleaning procedure involves removing plaque and tartar from below the gumline (scaling). This will help get rid of the infection and inflammation. Then your dentist will smooth out the tooth roots (root planing) to discourage bacteria buildup and allow the gums to reattach to the teeth.
- Antibiotics: If you are diagnosed with gingivitis, we may prescribe an antibacterial mouth rinse or topical antibiotics to control bacterial growth. This should help keep the bacteria under control and prevent the progression of the gum disease.
- Laser Dentistry: Laser dentistry is also an effective treatment for people who suffer from periodontitis. Damaged and diseased gum tissue can be removed efficiently with the use of dental lasers. This is a more effective way to treat gum disease. It is also less painful, causes less bleeding, will heal faster, and does not require sutures.
Periodontal Disease FAQs
Here are some common questions we get regarding our periodontal disease treatment:
What are my options for treating gum disease?
Treatments for gum disease can vary depending on the severity of each individual case. Typical treatments include scaling and root planing, which is a deep cleaning of the pockets of your gums to remove excess bacteria and buildup. Additionally, Dr. Bowersox may recommend laser dentistry solutions to assist in removing any diseased tissue. Periodontal surgery may be required in more extreme cases.
What causes gum disease?
Gum disease is caused by a buildup of plaque and tartar that surrounds and irritates your gumline. This buildup can cause your gums to begin to detach from your teeth if left untreated. Gums infected with periodontitis can cause teeth to become loose, fall out, or require extraction. Certain factors can cause a patient to be more at risk for gum disease, including smoking tobacco products, medical conditions, or taking certain medications.
What can I do at home to prevent gum disease?
Maintaining a consistent oral hygiene routine at home is the best way to prevent gum disease. If you notice your gums are bleeding after you brush or floss your teeth, this is a sign that gum disease is in its earliest stages. You should contact your dentist and schedule regular teeth cleanings to prevent bleeding gums from developing into gum disease.
How long does periodontal disease take to heal?
The severity of gum disease will determine how long it will take for your gums to heal. If you have progressed to further stages of periodontal disease, it may take months for them to fully heal.
What can you not do after a periodontal treatment?
We recommend waiting until your mouth is not numb before attempting to consume food or drink. On the first day, avoid foods that are chewy, crunchy, or difficult to chew. For at least 48 hours after treatment, we also recommend refraining from consuming hot beverages as this may increase sensitivity.
Is periodontal treatment painful?
Periodontal therapy may cause some discomfort, especially if left untreated. However, if treated promptly, it will be considerably less than you imagine. Seeking treatment early will be much less painful than if you wait and let periodontitis develop into further stages.
Schedule Your Appointment for Periodontal Disease Treatment in Westminster, MD
Gum disease is a serious condition that can cause damage to your teeth and gums. If you are seeking expert dental care for periodontal disease treatment in Westminster, MD, please contact us for a consultation by calling 410-642-5634. You can also request an appointment online by filling out form. Contact us today to get started on your journey towards good oral health.