The Importance of Healthy Gums
Your gums are an essential component in achieving pristine oral health. When your gums become infected, it’s important to treat them right away as it can lead to further health complications, such as tooth loss. If you suffer from periodontal disease, Dr. Villalobos provides a variety of treatments to ensure the health of your teeth and gums gets back on track.
Learn more about periodontal disease and why maintaining proper gum health is important by reading our patient guide below.
What Is Periodontal Disease?
Periodontal disease, also known as gum disease, is an oral infection that affects the gums due to poor oral hygiene. Bad bacteria are produced by plaque that’s left on the teeth and hardens to form tartar. As tartar accumulates, it harbors unwanted bacteria that attack your soft tissue around the gums.
Stages of Gum Disease
There are several stages of gum disease and when left untreated, it can lead to further health issues. 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 while brushing and flossing. This can be easily treated with a scaling and root planing treatment.
- Periodontitis: This stage occurs when gingivitis is left untreated. Plaque begins 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.
Signs of Periodontal Disease
Periodontal disease is often easy to overlook. That’s why it’s important to pay close attention to the signs of gum disease as well as keep up with your oral hygiene routine. Noticing signs of gum disease in its early stage is key to reversing its effects. Common signs include:
- Red or swollen gums
- Teeth shifting positions
- Receding gum line
- Spaces or gaps between teeth
- Consistent bad breath (halitosis)
- Bleeding gums while brushing or flossing
Our Periodontal Disease Treatments
We know that gum disease can’t always be avoided. That’s why Dr. Villalobos and our Jupiter dental team offer effective periodontal treatments to ensure you achieve a lifetime of healthy, happy smiling.
Scaling & Root Planing
Scaling and root planing is the most effective treatment for patients suffering from a mild to moderate case of gum disease. During this professional deep cleaning, Dr. Villalobos will remove hardened plaque and bacteria from under the gumline. He’ll also smooth out the tooth roots to prevent bacteria from settling into the newly cleaned area.
Pocket Reduction Surgery
Pocket reduction surgery is a more in-depth gum disease treatment. This method is used to reverse the effects of periodontal disease and restore your mouth to a healthy state. With pocket reduction surgery, we’re able to visually see the damage, access the tooth root, and clean the infected area. In certain cases, Dr. Villalobos may need to suture the gum to where the bone has resorbed.
Bone (osseous) surgery is often performed after a periodontal supplemental treatment, such as scaling and root planing. Patients suffering from periodontitis often experience defects in the bone around their teeth and bone surgery removes those defects. 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 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 or advanced gum disease stages and is performed to restore gums to their natural, healthy state. Dr. Villalobos will cover the exposed tooth and root surfaces with grafted oral tissue. Grafting encourages new tissue growth that will enable the gums to return to their original position around the teeth.
Frequently Asked Questions
Regular flossing and brushing is the most important component when it comes to 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 you can’t reach with at-home oral care. That’s why it’s crucial to schedule bi-annual dental visits at our Jupiter dental office for professional cleanings in addition to maintaining good oral hygiene at home.
Gingivitis is caused when bacteria surround the teeth and enter the gums. The gums can become irritated, inflamed, and often bleed. To prevent this condition from worsening, regular dental visits are highly recommended. During your checkups, our Jupiter hygiene team will teach you proper brushing and flossing techniques that will aid in achieving proper at-home oral care.
After your deep cleaning, any discomfort or swelling should subside within a few weeks. The amount of time it takes for your symptoms to completely disappear depends on the extent of your oral infection.
In addition to following any recommendations by Dr. Villalobos, you’ll want to rinse with warm salt water to keep your mouth free of bacteria and help promote gum healing. While you still deal with symptoms, you can use over-the-counter medications and cold compresses to help relieve any discomfort.
Comfortable and Effective Periodontal Treatment
Proper oral hygiene and regular dental visits are important parts of preventing and treating gum disease. If you have any questions, don’t hesitate to give our Jupiter office 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.