Gum disease is a serious dental health issue that also affects your overall health. Robert A. Scherrer, DMD, and the team at Advanced Dental Care of Ridgewood offer periodontal treatment for residents in and around Ridgewood, New Jersey. Call or schedule an appointment online to explore your options in greater detail.
Gum disease is one of the most common forms of chronic disease, and many people will develop some form of periodontal disease at one point or another.
There are two types of gum disease, categorized according to the severity of the infection.
The earliest stage, gingivitis, begins with inflamed gum tissue. Gingivitis can be reversed with improved dental hygiene. However, if left untreated, it usually progresses into the more severe stage.
At this point, infected gums begin to pull away from the surface of your teeth, creating small “pockets” where bacteria can thrive. You can’t effectively clean these pockets with brushing or flossing, so the condition can worsen rapidly.
When gum disease progresses, it can begin to wear away at your bone tissue. This can cause tooth loss in addition to numerous other problems.
Knowing what to look for helps make it easier to know when to seek professional treatment for gum disease. Some of the signs you might need periodontal disease include:
If you experience any of these changes, schedule a diagnostic exam to determine if you need periodontal treatment.
A professional cleaning is the first step if your dentist finds evidence of gingivitis. Your dental care team shows you the best techniques for brushing and flossing. Renewed dental hygiene is often all you need to reverse gingivitis.
Treating periodontal disease often begins with a procedure called scaling and root planing. Your dentist uses a handheld tool called a scaler to scrape away plaque and bacteria beneath the gum line manually. Smoothing the surface of the roots of your teeth makes it harder for plaque to take hold.
Some medications can help control bacterial infection. Oral or topical antibiotics might be part of your treatment plan.
Surgical intervention might be the best way to address periodontitis. A procedure called flap surgery creates space between your teeth and gums to facilitate a deep cleaning.
Soft tissue grafting (gum grafts) helps to replace damaged or missing gum tissue. If you’ve experienced bone loss, bone grafting can be a good option and helps build up your jaw bone.
If you’d like more information about periodontal disease prevention, screening, or treatment, call or book a visit online.