Gum disease is the leading cause of tooth loss amongst adults, and it can develop so subtly that you might not even be aware that you have it until there is permanent damage. The team of expert dentists at Lakeside Family Dentistry in Cypress, Texas, provide exceptional services for the prevention, diagnosis, and treatment of gum disease. Keep your smile healthy today, and schedule an appointment with Ryulee Song, DMD, or April Lee, DMD, by phone or online.
Gum disease is a bacterial infection of your gum tissue. It develops when plaque is left to sit on your teeth for too long. Plaque contains acid and bacteria that are toxic to your gums, which causes them to get irritated and inflamed.
Gum disease starts as gingivitis, causing red, swollen, and tender gums, which is entirely reversible with deep cleanings and improved oral hygiene. Without proper care, the infection spreads below your gum line, where it begins to eat away at the connective tissues holding your teeth in place.
Once gingivitis has spread below the gum line, it’s known as periodontitis. This can cause pockets or gaps to form between your teeth and gums. These pockets are highly susceptible to collecting bacteria and debris, which further irritate your gums and create deeper pockets. This cycle continues until the structures holding your teeth in place have eroded entirely, and your teeth fall out.
Gum disease causes:
While some of these symptoms might sound severe and noticeable, gum disease is known to develop silently. Many patients are unaware that it affects their oral health until it progresses into its later stages.
The team at Lakeside Family Dentistry, however, has the tools, techniques, and training to spot gum disease in its earliest stages, when it hasn’t caused lasting damage to your smile and reversal is possible. This is why it’s vital to maintain regular check-ups and cleanings with the team.
Some of the ways to effectively treat gum disease include:
If your gum disease is still in the gingivitis stage, reversal with a few professional dental cleanings and improved at-home care is possible. Your dentist might also opt to administer pocket irrigation during your cleanings, which cleans out the plaque and tartar between your teeth and beneath your gumline.
Scaling and root planing is usually the first step in treating more advanced stages of gum disease. It’s a deeper and more comprehensive dental cleaning. In scaling, your dentist uses special tools to remove the irritating plaque, tartar, and calculus from your teeth. Once your teeth are free of irritants, they root plane to smooth out the surfaces of your teeth, making it easier for your gums to reattach and more difficult for bacteria to accumulate.
Flap surgery, or pocket elimination surgery, treats more advanced gum disease by surgically reducing the size of the pockets between your teeth and gums. Your dentist can also perform laser treatments to reduce the size of your pockets.
If gum disease has deteriorated a significant amount of your gum tissue or bone, your dentist might suggest performing a graft to stimulate new growth.
If your gum disease has already caused you to lose a tooth, or if your dentist decides that an extraction is the best course of action for your condition, Lakeside Family Dentistry offers exceptional restorative services, including dental implants, bridges, and dentures, that can make your smile whole again.
Keep your smile healthy and schedule a gum disease consultation at Lakeside Family Dentistry by calling the office or booking a visit online today.