What is Periodontal Disease?
Periodontal (gum) disease is an infection that develops in the gums due to bacteria produced by plaque, or an opaque film on the teeth that hardens to form tartar. As tartar accumulates, it harbors bacteria that attack the soft tissue around the gums.
Our Jupiter, FL office can treat gum disease and help you get back on track. Dr. Villalobos offers several periodontal treatments to restore the health of your teeth and gums.
Signs to Look Out For
Gum disease can easily progress silently, often without pain, and before you know it, you’re losing your teeth and don’t know why. Noticing symptoms in the early stages of periodontitis is crucial for reversing it and preventing further damage. Common signs include:
- Red or swollen gums
- Teeth shifting positions
- Receding gum line
- Spaces or gaps between teeth
- Permanent bad breath (halitosis)
- Bleeding gums while brushing or flossing
Stages of Gum Disease
If left untreated, gum disease can advance into more severe stages and lead to serious health problems. The three stages of gum disease are:
- Gingivitis— In the first stage, gums appear to be mildly inflamed and red, and some bleeding may occur during brushing and flossing. This can be easily treated with scaling and root planing.
- Periodontitis— During this stage, gingivitis is left untreated and causes gums to separate from the teeth. Plaque will begin to harden and move closer to the tooth’s root, supporting fibers, and jawbone.
- Advanced Periodontitis— When gum disease is completely ignored, it’ll progress to its most severe stage. Supporting fibers and bone will be destroyed and teeth will become loose, and will most likely require an extraction.
Our Effective Treatment Options
Scaling & Root Planing
Scaling and root planing is most effective for patients suffering from mild to moderate cases of gum disease. During this procedure, Dr. Villalobos will remove hardened plaque and bacteria from under the gumline. We’ll also smooth out the roots to prevent bacteria from settling into the newly cleaned area.
Pocket Reduction Surgery
Pocket reduction (osseous) surgery is used to reverse the effects of periodontal disease and restore your mouth to a healthy state. This procedure allows us to visually see the damage, access the tooth root, and effectively clean the infected area. In some cases, Dr. Villalobos may need to suture the gum to where the bone has resorbed.
Patients with periodontitis often experience defects in the bone around their teeth and osseous surgery removes those defects. Osseous (bone) surgery is a procedure that’s performed after a supplemental periodontal treatment, like scaling and root planing.
Osseous surgery reshapes the bone which holds your teeth in place. Depending on the extent of the defects, the deformed bone may be removed, and the rest is shaped. Once the bones are back to their original state, the gums are stitched back into place.
Gum grafting is a corrective procedure for patients with gingivitis and advanced stages, performed to restore gums to its natural, healthy state. Dr. Villalobos will cover the exposed tooth and root surfaces with grafted on oral tissue. Grafting encourages new tissue growth that will enable the gums to return to its original position around the teeth.
Frequently Asked Questions
Gingivitis is a condition caused when bacteria surrounds the teeth and enters the gums. The gums can become irritated, inflamed and often bleed. In order to prevent the condition from worsening, regular hygiene visits are highly recommended. During your visit, our hygiene team will teach you the proper flossing techniques and oral hygiene protocol for at-home care will prevent periodontal disease.
Periodontal disease is a quiet disease that begins with little or no symptoms. It is caused by bacteria that surround the teeth and enters the gums. The immediate condition is known as gingivitis. The gums become irritated, inflamed and often bleed. If not properly treated, the condition worsens. Noticeable symptoms now appear. They include:
- Bad breath
- Gum recession
- Gum sensitivity to acidic foods
- Tooth pain
- Tooth loss
Periodontal disease is a chronic condition that needs immediate attention. Through a series of periodontal cleanings, root planing and scaling, laser therapy and local antibiotics, this condition can be controlled. Periodontal surgery is only necessary for severe cases.
Regular flossing and brushing is an important part of preventing gum disease. However, a good oral care regimen doesn’t prevent you from being at risk. Plaque and tartar can build up in places your brush or floss can’t reach. That’s why it’s also crucial to schedule bi-annual dental visits for professional cleanings in addition to maintaining good oral hygiene at home.
However, Dr. Villalobos may require you to come in for additional visits if you already have gingivitis or periodontitis, or have had gum problems in the past.
Contact Our Jupiter Dentist for Treatment Today
Proper oral hygiene and regular dental visits is an important part in preventing and treating gum disease. If you have any questions, don’t hesitate to give us a call at (561) 744-0677 or fill out a convenient contact form. We’ll be more than happy to explain our periodontal treatment options.