Periodontal Therapy Safeguards Smiles in Grand Prairie
“Periodontal disease” isn’t a term that most people are familiar with, but they probably know it by another name: gum disease. This refers to a bacterial infection of the gums, roots of the teeth, as well as the bone that supports them. It usually develops due to a buildup of plaque and bacteria below the gum line stemming from a lack of oral hygiene. Early symptoms are very common and easy to miss, and they typically include red, swollen, and tender gums that bleed easily while brushing and flossing.
Left untreated, gum disease can eventually become a very serious oral and overall health issue. As the bacteria breaks down the roots of the teeth, the risk of tooth loss skyrockets. Plus, research has shown that people with gum disease are actually much more likely to develop other systemic illnesses as well, including diabetes, heart disease, and even dementia.
At Marvel Dental, we screen our patients’ gums at every regular checkup, and should we spot a problem, our periodontal therapy treatments can handle it in a hurry. If any of the symptoms we touched on above sound familiar to you, be sure to contact us today so we can keep your smile safe!
The Early Signs of Gum Disease
Gum disease actually occurs in two main phases, the first of which is called gingivitis, which is a word you’ve likely heard before. At this point, the infection is only damaging the soft tissues in the mouth, leading to swelling and redness. Diligent brushing, flossing, as well as a few extra dental cleanings from our staff are often enough to reverse gum disease at this point. Gingivitis is quite easy to miss, which is why it’s important for patients to come in regularly for checkups, as our dentists are able to spot it way before untrained eyes can.
Advanced Gum Disease
Eventually, gingivitis can turn into periodontitis, which is when the bacteria starts to break down the roots of the teeth and adjacent bone. At this point, a simple dental cleaning isn’t enough to combat the infection, so we’ll instead recommend one or all of the following treatments:
- Scaling and Root Planing (SRP) : Also known as a “deep cleaning,” scaling and root planing is designed to remove plaque and tartar from below the gum line as well as slightly reshape the roots of the teeth, which helps prevent the future buildup of bacteria in the area.
- Antibiotic Therapy : After SRP, your dentist may use a topical antibiotic called Arestin to help further fight the infection. Once applied to the gums, Arestin quickly dries and then slowly dissolves over the course of a few days so a powerful medicine has a chance to reach the most deeply-hidden bacteria.
- Periodontal Surgery : When periodontal disease is very severe, it may be necessary to remove infected tissue in order to stop the spread of bacteria. In these situations, your dentist will refer a patient to one of their trusted partner specialists.