Periodontal disease is an infection that leads to an inflammation of the gum tissue surrounding your teeth and also destroys the supporting bone that holds your teeth firmly in place. It also has been linked to other diseases including problems with the heart, lungs, and the immune system. At Southern Dental in Houston, we are dedicated to detection and treatment of this serious problem.
Gum disease is a chronic inflammation of the gums that often progresses silently and unnoticed. Studies show that more than half of people over 18 have gum disease in at least the early stages, and more worryingly, after the age of 35, three out of four people are affected to some degree.
Southern Dental offers non-surgical gum treatment, such as scaling and root planing, which is sufficient for most patients. This treatment includes the careful cleaning of root surfaces to remove plaque and tartar from deep periodontal pockets and to smooth the tooth root to remove bacterial toxins. Often this treatment, when combined with good oral hygiene, allows gum tissue to heal and re-attach to the teeth.
Periodontal disease is also known as periodontitis or gum disease and it refers to the inflammation of the soft tissues or gums surrounding the tooth. In extreme cases it can also affect the jawbone if the infection is not treated on time.
A common sign or symptom of periodontal disease is the infection and inflammation of the gums due to a bacterial infection, also known as gingivitis. Gingivitis occurs when plaque accumulates and begins to irritate and produce inflammation I the gum tissues. If left untreated, the infection can progress and infect the jawbone and tissues surrounding the teeth not only ending with tooth loss but other complications if the infection gets to the bone.
Types of Periodontal Disease:
- Chronic periodontitis – occurs when the supporting tissues are inflamed causing deep pockets and the gums to recede and teeth to become looser. This is the most common type of periodontal disease.
- Aggressive periodontitis – this gum disease happens when gum attachment is lost rapidly and bone destruction is chronic.
- Necrotizing periodontitis – refers to the tissue death or necrosis of the bone, gum tissues ad periodontal ligament usually because individuals are suffering from other health issues such as malnutrition, HIV and immunosuppression.
- Periodontitis caused by a systemic disease – when medical conditions such as diabetes, heart and respiratory diseases can trigger the gum disease.
How is Periodontal Disease treated?
Periodontal disease can be treated by different methods and can be surgical or non-surgical depending on the condition and level of the disease on each patient.
- Scaling and root planning – the gum pockets are cleaned and treated with antibiotics to stop the infection so the bacteria and plaque can be removed. Good oral hygiene is necessary to prevent further infection.
- Tissue regeneration – regrowth of the gum tissues and the bone can be stimulated using grafting procedures if the gums and bone have already been destroyed by the disease.
- Pocket elimination surgery – commonly known as flap surgery is required if the pockets between the gums and the teeth are too big. In the bone, surgery might be needed to eliminate holes that can contain bacteria.
- Dental implant – if tooth loss has occurred because of the disease, dental implants can help restore functionality and aesthetics to the mouth.
Once your treatment is completed, your dentist will provide you with care instructions to help prevent further infections. Good oral hygiene as well as regular dental visits are important to ensure the success of your treatment and your dental health.
At Southern Dental Associates, we are dedicated to improving and restoring your smile to a beautiful healthy condition. We are happy to provide you with the necessary information and discuss your options. Don’t hesitate to contact us!
Regular visits to Southern Dental will make it possible to detect and treat periodontal disease and other forms of gum disease before it becomes a serious threat to your health.
We have nine convenient locations in the Houston area: Heights, Spring Branch, Pasadena, Palm Center, Sugar Land, Willowbrook, Deerbrook, Katy and Baybrook. Find a location near you then call us to schedule an appointment today!