Did you know that over half of all Americans suffer from some degree of periodontal disease? Because gum disease can be so sneaky, with it often showing up with painless symptoms, many people are unaware that they have this potentially deadly condition. The causes of periodontal disease can vary, but it’s often caused by poor oral hygiene. Other factors can also play a role, such as the use of tobacco products (like smoking), untreated medical conditions (such as diabetes), and genetics. For our patients with periodontal disease, we here at ZenTech Dentistry have several forms of periodontal therapy to help improve their prognosis.
How Periodontal Therapy Can Improve Your Smile
Many people aren’t even aware that they have any gum disease whatsoever. Because early-stage gum disease can be subtle and pain-free, it can be hard to detect. Signs of gum disease include red and swollen gums, bleeding when you brush and floss, a receding gumline, and bad breath (also known as halitosis). When caught quickly, early-stage gum disease (gingivitis) is completely curable. However, as the disease progresses (and becomes an advanced stage called periodontitis), it does require intervention from us and is considered a chronic disease at this point.
If you have periodontitis, we can help protect and preserve your teeth with a variety of both surgical and non-surgical procedures. This is known as periodontal therapy and can help prevent any further tooth, bone, or gum loss. We may start with a series of digital x-rays, then follow with a deep cleaning, which is known as a scaling and root planing. This removes all buildup from your gumline, giving your gums a chance to reattach to your tooth roots and prevent any further recession of your gums. If the recession is severe, we may have to perform gum graft surgery to help restore the lost tissue.
Depending on how advanced your gum disease is, we may also advise crown lengthening surgery. This involves exposing parts of your tooth roots to secure a crown over your tooth. We also offer laser treatments at our office, which can help heal inflamed and infected tissue. If your tooth decay is too far advanced, however, we may have to perform an extraction of the affected tooth. You can be confident that you’re in professional and gentle hands during this procedure and we’ll make sure it does not hurt at all when we remove your tooth. Afterward, we may advise an implant, a bridge, or even a partial denture to take the missing tooth’s place. Adding a prosthetic tooth can help prevent further tooth loss down the road and prevent shifting or drifting of your remaining teeth.
Periodontal disease can be prevented by having a good oral care regimen in place at home. Make sure you brush your teeth twice a day for two minutes each session, using a soft-bristled toothbrush, and floss nightly. Regular checkups at our office, complete with a cleaning, is key to preventing this disease from occurring in the first place. If it has been longer than six months since your last dental exam, or if you’re interested in learning more about periodontal therapy, please give us a call here at ZenTech Dentistry at (503) 765-9699 today!