Studies show that gum disease is a known contributing factor to other systemic diseases like heart disease, diabetes, Alzheimer’s, pregnancy complications, and more; not to mention, it is the number one cause of tooth loss among adults! But the good news is it can be easily treated if caught early.
At Derby Dental, we do a thorough gum screening at each of your dental check-up visits and discuss any signs of an unhealthy mouth. When indicated, we will make recommendations for periodontal disease treatment in Austin, TX, and work with you to get this disease under control as soon as possible.
Scaling & Root Planing
If we’re able to detect gum disease in its early stages, then scaling and root planing may be all that is needed. This two-step procedure is sort of like a dental cleaning, but it’s primarily focused on your gum line. First, we use specific instruments to remove plaque and tartar (the main causes of gum disease) that have accumulated along the gum line. Then, we smooth out the teeth’s roots, promoting healing while making it harder for bacteria to gather there in the future.
We may also use antibiotics to target bacteria in areas of the gums that even our specialized instruments cannot reach. During your procedure, we can apply a topical antibiotic called Arestin to your gums, which gradually releases the medication over the course of two weeks to eliminate bacteria deep within the gum tissue.
Additionally, we can prescribe PerioScience rinses and other products to use at home. These items strengthen the antibacterial agents that are naturally found in human saliva, helping you fight infections on your own.
The Effects of Gum Disease
Gum disease can have many different side effects if you go without treatment. The severity of these side effects can vary based on the stage of gum disease. It is crucial to stop gum disease before it causes too much damage to your oral health. Therefore, preventative measures are one of the best ways to avoid the following issues.
Gingivitis (Early Stage)
- Swollen and Red Gums: gingivitis often causes the gums to become red and swollen.
- Bleeding Gums: Gums may bleed during brushing or flossing.
Periodontitis (Advanced Stage)
- Bad Breath: Persistent bad breath can be a result of bacteria in the infected gums.
- Receding Gums: Gums may pull away from the teeth. This can lead to exposing the roots of the tooth.
- Pockets Forming: Spaces (or pockets) between the teeth and gums can form. As a result this can cause bacteria to build up.
- Tooth Sensitivity: Increased sensitivity to hot or cold temperatures.
Advanced Periodontitis (Late Stage)
- Loose Teeth: Gum disease can cause damage to the supporting structures of your teeth. This make your teeth start to loosen.
- Tooth Loss: In severe cases, gum disease can lead to tooth loss.
- Bone Loss: Continued infection can result in loss of bone support for teeth. This can also create changes in your facial structure.
- There is growing evidence suggesting a link between gum disease and certain systemic conditions. This includes issues such as heart disease, diabetes, and respiratory diseases. While experts are still studying the nature of these connections, good oral health is considered to be important for your overall well-being.