Gum disease, or periodontal disease, is the inflammation of the gums that can progress to affect the bone that surrounds and supports your teeth. The three stages of gum disease are gingivitis, periodontitis, and advanced periodontitis, in order of severity. Periodontal disease is incredibly common, and at the advanced stages, there is a risk of tooth loss. Treatment of gum disease can help to prevent loss of teeth, and may help prevent the heighten risk of stroke, heart attack, and diabetes that is also associated with gum disease. The most important part of treatment is regular checkups, so that your dentist can identify problems before they worsen.
The earliest stage of gum disease can be reversed with good hygiene or a professional cleaning. Gingivitis usually causes no pain. It may cause some bleeding of the gums during brushing and flossing, but the easiest way to catch it early is by routinely visiting your dentist. If treated early enough, gingivitis can be reversed before it progresses into more advanced gum disease.
If gingivitis is left untreated, it may advance to periodontitis. A deep cleaning, also known as scaling and root planing, may be enough to treat the periodontitis. It cannot be reversed, but the treatment may keep it from advancing. The deep cleaning can remove any bacteria from underneath the gum line.
After scaling and root planing, the gums may still be receding from the teeth leaving pockets between the tooth and gums that can collect bacteria. Laser periodontal treatment like PerioLase® technology and the LANAP® protocol may help to reduce pockets and clean beneath the gum line.
Depending on how long the gum disease progresses without treatment, excessive gum recession may happen, which can expose the bones and roots of the teeth. To restore the gum tissue, gum grafting where healthy tissue is attached to the gums may need to happen. The grafted tissue will protect any exposed areas, and can help stop gum disease from continuing to wreak havoc on the gums, teeth and bones.
Dr. Vahadi can help you determine the right periodontal treatment for you and your gums. Schedule a consultation at Lone Star Dental in Frisco, TX office at 972-335-7100.