Periodontal Therapy in Richardson
Periodontal (gum) disease affects the majority of American adults over the age of 35. Left untreated, the condition has detrimental effects on oral and overall health. Therapy for periodontal disease in Richardson is available from Dr. Nguyen at Brick Row Dentistry. But how do you recognize if you have gum disease? And how is gum disease treated and prevented? Let’s take a look at these and other questions related to your periodontal health.
How to Recognize Periodontal Disease
Because its initial side effects are usually mild, gum disease is often ignored until it reaches its latest stages. Learn the symptoms of periodontitis and help yourself seek treatment sooner. The warning signs you’re dealing with gum disease include:
- Chronic bad breath that persists after brushing teeth
- Red, swollen, and/or tender gums
- Bleeding gums
- Sensitive teeth and/or gums
- Loose teeth
Tooth loss occurs in the most advanced stages of periodontal disease due to the degeneration of the jawbone. In addition to tooth loss, uncontrolled gum disease has been linked to heart disease, stroke, cancer, low birth weight in pregnant mothers, and other serious health conditions.
Your dentist identifies gum disease by checking for and charting the depth of the pockets between your teeth and gums. Healthy pockets should be no deeper than three millimeters. Regular preventive appointments every six months help us identify growing pocket depths. Once your dental team detects an infection in your gums, periodontal therapy will begin.
How Gum Disease Is Treated
Therapy for periodontal disease depends on the extent of the infection. In its earliest stages, infected gums can be returned to their good health with improved hygiene at home and a few extra visits to the dentist. Once the pockets reach a depth of 5 millimeters, a deep cleaning, or scaling and root planing, will be recommended.
Scaling and root planing is a method in which your dentist or hygienist uses special tools to clean above and below the gum line. Scaling removes plaque from the surface of the tooth and the pockets, too. Root planing cleans the root of the tooth. Several visits to the dentist are usually required for complete removal of bacteria and plaque buildup. Scaling and root planing may be combined with antibiotic therapy for full healing.
The most advanced stages of periodontal disease require surgical treatment. Your dentist may partner with a local periodontist for the most complex cases of periodontitis.
Preventing Gum Disease
Gum disease is easily prevented with excellent dental hygiene at home. Keep the following in mind to enjoy healthy gums for a lifetime:
Brush teeth regularly, for two minutes after each meal or at least twice a day
- Floss daily
- Avoid tobacco
- Maintain a balanced, nutritious diet
- Visit the dentist every six months for preventive care
When was your last visit to Brick Row Dentistry? If it’s been more than six months, you are missing out on important preventive care. Contact our office to request your appointment today! We warmly welcome patients from Richardson and all surrounding areas.