Periodontal disease, commonly known as gum disease, is an oral health condition that affects a large number of people. However, the severity of it can range from mild to severe. Patients who seek treatment for gum disease in the early stages are more likely to regain their oral health and minimize the damage it can cause. Horizon Family Dental Care offers comprehensive periodontal disease treatment in Baltimore, MD for patients suffering from this condition.
The Importance of Healthy Gum Tissue
When you think of optimal oral health, you may simply think that entails brushing your teeth and visiting your dentist. However, taking care of your gums is just as important. The gum tissues, called gingivae, lines the entire oral cavity and covers the jawbone and teeth roots. They form a protective barrier to prevent bacteria from attacking the underlying bone, roots, and other supportive structures. Healthy gums are firm, pink, and fit snugly around the teeth.
What is Periodontal Disease?
Gum disease is when the gum tissues that protect and surround the teeth become inflamed and infected. The main cause for this is from an accumulation of plaque on the teeth and gums. Plaque is a sticky film loaded with bacteria that is constantly forming in your mouth. When it is not removed with regular brushing and flossing, the bacteria will attack the gums. Other factors can contribute to the development of and severity of this disease including smoking, genetics, hormones, certain medications, and other systemic diseases.
Stages of Gum Disease
Periodontal disease is a progressive disease. If you do not seek treatment immediately, it will develop into a much worse condition that will cause permanent damage. The stages of periodontal disease include:
This is the early stage of gum disease. Most people may not even realize they have it because the symptoms are mild. Gingivitis is reversible and simply requires proper at home oral hygiene and professional dental cleanings. Signs of it include gums that are red, swollen, and that bleed easily. Bleeding gums when brushing or flossing is usually a sign of gingivitis.
If left untreated, gingivitis will develop into periodontitis. Here, the inflammation will extend deeper, below the gumline. The bacteria will begin to form pockets between the teeth and gums.
Again, without treatment, the disease will advance. These pockets will begin to grow larger and fill with bacteria from the accumulation of plaque. This can lead to serious harm to the underlying teeth roots and bone structure.
This is the most advanced stage of gum disease. Most patients will have some level of bone loss by this stage. The bone loss will cause the teeth begin to shift and move which can result in tooth loss. The infection has spread to the surrounding tissues and bone and has cause permanent damage.
Symptoms of Gum Disease
- Red, swollen, or tender gums
- Bleeding gums, especially during brushing or flossing
- Bad breath (halitosis)
- Receding gums, making teeth appear longer
- Formation of pockets between the teeth and gums
- Changes in bite alignment
- Loose or shifting teeth
- Changes in the way dentures fit
Periodontal Disease Treatment in Baltimore, MD
Treatment for gum gum disease is part of our extensive restorative dentistry menu. Your treatment will depend on what stage of gum disease you are suffering from. The goals is to get rid of the infection, reduce the side effects, and preserve as much of your natural teeth and gum tissues as possible.
- Professional Dental Cleaning: A deep teeth cleaning by a trained dental hygienist is called scaling and root planing. This procedure will remove all the excess plaque and tartar from your teeth and below the gumline. This helps eliminate bacteria and toxins that contribute to gum disease.
- Medications: Your dentist may need to prescribe antibiotics or antimicrobial agents to control the bacterial infection. These can be administered orally or applied directly to the affected areas.
- Surgical Procedures: In more advanced cases, you may require a surgical procedure or grafting. This may include flap surgery, pocket reduction surgery, bone graft, or gum tissue graft. If you require any of these, we will help you with the appropriate referral.
Schedule an Appointment for Periodontal Disease Treatment in Baltimore, MD
Gum disease can destroy your oral health and cost you a lot of money to treat. The best way to avoid it is to visit your dentist regularly and brush and floss daily. If you are showing signs of gum disease please schedule an appointment at Horizon Family Dental Care today for periodontal disease treatment in Baltimore, MD.