Millions of Americans suffer from periodontal disease. At R Ben Alexander, DDS, we treat patients throughout the Mckinney TX area that are struggling with this condition and provide a variety of treatment solutions to help combat the symptoms and heal the gums. If you are concerned that your gums are unhealthy, call our office or schedule a periodontics appointment online with Dr. Alexander to receive a dental examination and talk about periodontal disease.
What Is Periodontics?
Periodontics is the dental specialty focusing exclusively on the inflammation that destroys the gums and other supporting structures around the teeth including bone and other associated tissues. A periodontist is a dentist who specializes in the prevention, diagnosis, and treatment of periodontal, or gum disease, and in the placement of dental implants. Periodontists treat cases ranging from gingivitis to more severe periodontal disease. For more information about periodontics call or schedule a periodontics appointment online with our R. Ben Alexander, DDS dental team.
What Are the Signs of Periodontal Disease?
You may have periodontal disease if your gums are red, swollen, or bleeding. It is natural for this to happen from time to time after eating something that irritates your gums or brushing too aggressively. However, if this happens on a regular basis then you may have some type of periodontal disease. Another symptom is bad breath, loose teeth, pain while chewing, sensitive teeth, or teeth that appear longer.
The Consequences of Periodontal Disease
In its early stages, periodontal disease can cause some irritation and bleeding. There may be some discomfort, but it will be minimal. This stage is called gingivitis. If it is left untreated the disease will spread, and the gums will start to recede and pull away from the tooth. This creates pockets in the gum tissue that can expose more of the tooth structure and the root system. Once exposed, the tooth and roots are more susceptible to infection because bacteria collects in the tissue pockets around the tooth. This can lead to cavities and infections along with bone loss. In severe cases, bone loss in combination with receding gums can lead to tooth loss. In many cases, adult teeth fall out due to periodontal disease.
How is Gingivitis Treated?
It is much easier to treat gingivitis than periodontal disease because, in the beginning stages, gingivitis can be reversed. We recommend that patients look for the signs of gum disease and schedule an appointment immediately so that the least invasive procedure can be used to correct the problem. Once the disease has progressed too far, more significant procedures may be necessary to heal the gums. At times, this can involve oral surgery.
How is Periodontal Disease Treated?
The first step in addressing periodontal disease is to complete a deep cleaning. By removing plaque and tartar from the teeth and gums, we can help patients throughout the Mckinney TX area start the healing process. Once the bacteria and plaque have been removed, the gums will start to heal naturally. If the plaque is only around the edge of the gum line, a standard teeth cleaning will work. If it has become trapped between the gums and teeth, scaling and root planing procedure will be required. In this case, Dr. Alexander will need to scrape the plaque off the teeth underneath the gums.
When oral surgery is required, it is typically because the gums have receded so significantly. When pockets form in the gum tissue, they need to be restored in order to protect the tooth. In this case, a gum graft and a bone graft can be helpful. This works by taking tissue from the roof of the mouth or another area and grafting it to the gums so that the gum tissue can start to regenerate. The gums then need to be secured back around the tooth in order to protect it and the roots.
These procedures combined can help to both heal and restore your gums. In order to tell which periodontics procedures are necessary for you, call our office or schedule a periodontics consultation online with our R. Ben Alexander, DDS dental staff.