Periodontics

Gum disease is very common and can have serious consequences for your health, but it can be prevented by maintaining optimal oral health. However, it’s also important to be aware of the signs and symptoms that indicate this condition is present so that you can act quickly to address it.

There are many treatment options for periodontal disease, but they become more invasive and complex as the disease progresses in severity. Therefore, patients should seek treatment as soon as they notice even the mildest symptoms of gum disease.

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Periodontal Disease: Causes And Symptoms

Periodontal disease develops when oral bacteria proliferate and attack the gum tissue, creating inflammation. Poor oral hygiene practices, lack of adequate professional dental care and lifestyle habits such as smoking and an unhealthy diet can increase a patient’s risk for gum disease.

The inflammation associated with gum disease can result in the following symptoms of the mildest form of gum disease, known as gingivitis:

  • Gums that are red rather than a healthy pink shade
  • Swollen gums
  • Bleeding gums (even if it only occurs while brushing)

As gum disease progresses into periodontitis, the symptoms become more severe and may include:

  • Pockets developing between the gums and the teeth
  • Noticeable erosion of gum tissue
  • Loose teeth
  • Tooth and/or bone loss

Patients should frequently monitor their gums for signs of gum disease and act quickly to consult with a specialist when they notice any troubling symptoms.

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Treatment Options For Periodontal Disease

Fortunately, our team at CJ Dental is able to treat gum disease. For the best results, patients should seek treatment as early in the gum disease process as possible. The recommended treatment depends on the stage of gum disease at the time of diagnosis, and milder forms can be treated more conservatively.

Gingivitis typically responds to a thorough professional cleaning by an experienced dental hygienist. However, when pockets have formed between the gums and the teeth, a more in-depth procedure known as scaling and root planing may be needed to eliminate disease-causing bacteria.

Root scaling and root planing involves a deep cleaning of the area between the gum tissue and the tooth, where the pocket is present. Bacteria are removed from the area, and any rough spots on the root are smoothed down so that bacteria can’t collect there in the future.

More advanced cases of periodontal disease that warrant surgical treatment may require a referral to a specialist. Our office can recommend a knowledgeable provider who will be capable of treating your case.

Consequences Of Periodontal Disease

The consequences for delaying periodontal disease treatment are significant and can have repercussions for your entire body, not just your smile.

For example, periodontal disease can be related to a variety of systemic conditions, including heart disease, diabetes, stroke, Alzheimer’s disease, and depression.

Pregnant women also may face certain risks if they have periodontal disease, such as premature labor, pre-eclampsia and low birth weight.

Of course, periodontal disease may affect your smile, too. If it results in tooth loss, both your appearance and the functioning of your smile will suffer.
Avoiding these consequences gives patients extra motivation to seek treatment when they notice signs of gum disease.

Periodontal Therapy

Over 80% of our population has some form of periodontal or gum disease. It is an inflammatory, infectious disease of the gums and/or bone surrounding the teeth. It is a “silent” disease for the most part, meaning that most people are not aware that they have it because there is usually no pain associated with it. It is a very serious but treatable disease. It is the most common cause for tooth loss when left untreated. The bacteria associated with periodontal disease can spread to distant areas in the body and have been associated with heart disease, stroke, diabetes, Alzheimer’s, and premature labor or low birthweight babies.

We perform a periodontal examination at every new patient appointment. Once the initial diagnosis has been made and any necessary treatment completed, we will always continue to monitor the gums by performing a screening exam at every cleaning appointment, and then annually another complete exam. This is in addition to checking for cavities, and is at no additional charge to the patient. It is just part of the whole package that we believe is the best we can provide to our patients.

If a patient is found to have periodontal disease, we provide nonsurgical periodontal treatment in our office. We have a hygienist with a BS in Dental Hygiene from the University of Oklahoma who is excellent at providing periodontal treatment and is very gentle. For more advanced surgical procedures, Dr. Chandler can provide most pocket reduction surgeries and we partner with the top periodontists in Oklahoma City for the more complex grafting procedures.

FAQs

What is periodontal disease?

Periodontal disease is inflammation of the gum tissue that is caused by oral bacteria attacking a patient’s gum tissue. This condition is quite common, affecting as many as 80 percent of Americans. Periodontal disease is a progressive condition, which means that it will become more severe if it goes untreated. Advanced periodontal disease can have major negative effects on your systemic health, as well as on your smile’s condition, so patients should monitor their gums for signs and symptoms and be evaluated regularly by a professional to identify early-stage gum disease.

What is gingivitis?

Gingivitis is the mildest form of gum disease. It is indicated by symptoms such as redness, bleeding or swelling in the gum tissue and often does not cause any discomfort. As such, patients may not even realize that they have gingivitis until they are diagnosed by a dentist. Fortunately, a thorough professional cleaning usually is an effective treatment for gingivitis. Patients who experience gingivitis should consult with their dentist to plan for ongoing monitoring and follow-up to reduce their risk of a relapse.

What should I do about bleeding gums?

Bleeding gums are never normal, even if they only happen when you brush or floss. If you notice that your gums are bleeding, you should call our office to schedule an evaluation to determine if you have gum disease. We encourage patients to call us as soon as possible for evaluation and treatment to reduce the chances of developing a more advanced form of gum disease.

Why do I need to see a periodontist?

CJ Dental provides non-surgical gum disease treatment for pocket reduction surgery and Dr. Chandler is available serval days a month. For more advanced connective tissue treatment such as grafting, we partner with the top periodontists in Oklahoma City.