Northeast Dallas Periodontal Therapy
Periodontal (gum) disease is one of the most common oral health concerns that affects US adults. Some studies indicate that as much as 50% of adults over the age of 30 are suffering from some form of gum disease. The truly unfortunate statistic is that periodontal disease is almost 100% preventable. That’s why the Northeast Dallas dentist and dental care team at Mariya Barnett, DDS Family & Cosmetic Dentistry are dedicated to helping patients prevent periodontal disease with regular screenings and improved at-home hygiene for those at risk for this oral health concern. When we can’t prevent gum disease, we also offer a variety of periodontal therapies to help patients renew their healthy smiles. If you want to learn more about periodontal therapy or any of our other treatment options, call to schedule an appointment with our team today.
What is Gum Disease?
Periodontal disease is often referred to simply as gum disease. However, this name is a bit of misnomer. The word periodontal itself is a little more accurate. It combines two words – perio meaning around and odot meaning tooth. Thus, periodontal disease is an oral health issue that affects the tissue around the tooth. That includes the gums, supportive alveolar bone, and the jaw. There are two main forms of gum disease. In the early stages, called gingivitis, the symptoms are mild and may be overlooked without the help of your dentist, during regular office visits. The more advanced form is referred to as periodontitis, and the symptoms at this stage are much more severe. In fact, periodontitis is the leading cause of tooth loss for patients over the age of 35.
Do I have Periodontal Disease?
During your regular six month dental checkups, we’ll screen for this disease, but please let us know right away if you notice any of the following warning signs of gum disease:
- Bleeding gums especially while brushing and flossing
- Red or discolored gum tissue
- Swelling or inflammation in the gum tissue
- Sores or infection in the tissues around teeth
- Receding gums or teeth that appear longer
- Teeth that shift or a bite that doesn’t fit together properly
- Chronic bad breath that doesn’t improve with brushing and flossing
How is Periodontal Disease Treated?
Your treatment plan for periodontal disease will depend on what form you’re suffering from. Patients with mild gingivitis may see improved oral health by simply making some improvements to at-home hygiene routines and visiting us for more frequent professional teeth cleanings. When periodontal disease reaches the more advanced stages, we may need to offer some combination of the following more advanced treatments in addition to more frequent professional cleanings:
- Scaling – removal of plaque, tartar, and damaged tooth structure below the gums
- Root planing – smoothing of tooth roots to prevent further buildup of plaque and tartar
- Antibiotic therapy – oral and/or topical antibiotics may be prescribed to reduce the numbers of plaque-producing oral bacteria
- Antimicrobial mouth rinse – a prescription strength rinse that limits production of oral bacteria
Can I Prevent Periodontal Disease?
In most cases periodontal disease is preventable and avoiding this common oral health concern is as simple as maintaining proper at-home hygiene and regular dental appointments. This includes brushing twice a day, flossing daily, and visiting our office twice a year. If you’re struggling with gum disease or showing warning signs, we can work with you to improve your at-home routine with products designed to combat periodontal disease. Don’t hesitate to talk to Dr. Barnett or any member of our team about making the most of your oral hygiene routine.