You may have heard about gum disease, known as “periodontitis” or “periodontal disease.” Maybe a dental professional or hygienist recently told you that you have this infection. But do you know the difference between periodontal disease and other complications that can affect your mouth, such as gingivitis? Do you know why it’s so important to treat periodontal disease in our Galveston, TX office, and why brushing and flossing alone won’t do the trick?
Most importantly, did you know that periodontal disease is today’s #1 cause of tooth loss among American adults? Or, although a causal relationship between periodontal disease and an elevated risk for systemic events has not been established, recent data suggest a possible association between periodontal disease and other health issues, including cardiovascular disease, diabetes, and preterm low birth-weight babies.
Periodontal (gum) disease is insidious. It is an infection of the gums that starts out as plaque, an opaque film on the teeth that hardens to form tartar. As tartar accumulates, it harbors bacteria that attack the soft tissue around the gums. This is the early stage of gum disease known as gingivitis. Left untreated, gingivitis becomes periodontitis, ultimately destroying the tissue surrounding your teeth and the bone that holds your teeth in place.
Signs of Gum Disease
There are few early warning signs of gum disease, except for bad breath and bleeding gums. The disease advances silently, often without pain; before you know it, you are losing your teeth and don’t know why. Tooth loss is only the most obvious indicator of gum disease. Scientific research has discovered a linkage between gum disease and stroke, heart disease, diabetes – even an increased risk for pregnant women. When your gums become diseased, your entire immune system is weakened. In the past, fear of painful dental surgery has kept people with gum disease from seeking the care they need. Well, those days are gone forever with periodontal disease treatment in our Galveston, TX dental office.
Periodontal Disease Treatment and Maintenance in Galveston, TX
Have you recently eradicated gingivitis or periodontal disease from your mouth and gums? If so, then you are feeling good about your mouth and gums. Your teeth have no plaque and tartar, and you won’t need to visit your dentist again for another year, right? Wrong!
Many patients are not aware that periodontal maintenance is the only sure way to keep gum disease from returning. Periodontal maintenance is regularly performed at certain intervals after procedures such as scaling and root planing. Periodontal maintenance includes the removal of plaque and tartar, scaling, and tooth planing and polishing. Your dentist will determine the frequency of the periodontal maintenance needed.
After scaling and root planing, your gums will probably be slightly sore and irritated for a few days. You should rinse your mouth with warm salt water (1 tsp salt/8 oz water) 2-3 times daily. This will relieve the pain and cleanse the area.
Brushing and flossing should be continued right after the procedure, but you should brush gently so that you do not further irritate the area. If you experience swelling or stiffness, you can place a cold compress on the area and take pain-relieving medicine. Avoid hard or chewy foods for 2-3 days after the surgery to ensure the area heals correctly. If you continue to experience pain or swelling after a few days, contact your dentist.
Arestin®: Fighting Infection Where It Starts
Fight infection right where it starts. Arestin® (minocycline hydrochloride) Microspheres, 1 mg, is an effective antibiotic treatment that comes in powder form. After the dental professional finishes the scaling and root planing (SRP) procedure, this powder is placed inside infected periodontal pockets.
Periodontal Splinting (Weak Teeth)
Loose teeth are uncomfortable, especially when eating food or chewing gum. The feeling of the tooth pulling away from the gum is enough to send chills down your spine. It seems like an eternity, waiting for either the tooth to become loose enough to be extracted or strong enough to be a problem no longer.
Teeth become loose because of lost gum tissue, injury, orthodontic treatment, or pressure caused by tooth misalignment. A new technique called periodontal splinting attaches weak teeth together, turning them into a single unit that is stable and stronger than the single teeth by themselves. The procedure is most commonly performed on the front teeth. The procedure is as simple as using composite material to attach, or splint, the loose teeth to the adjoining stable teeth. Tooth splinting is a common procedure that has gained popularity due to its effectiveness.
Reverse Gum Disease
Call our Galveston, TX dental office for periodontal care at 409-235-0789. You can also schedule a dental appointment with us online.