About Gum Disease

Four out of five Americans have some form of periodontal (gum) disease, and many are completely unaware. Why? In the early stage, gum disease is usually painless and has no symptoms. However, as the condition progresses, gums become red, swollen, and may bleed.

Periodontal disease attacks the gums, teeth, and jawbone, and it is the number-one cause of adult tooth loss. Plaque, a sticky, smelly bacterial film, builds up on teeth near the gum line. Left in place, plaque calcifies into a hard, insoluble substance called tartar. When plaque and tartar remain on the teeth, they destroy the gums, connective tissues, and can affect supporting bone tissue.

Researchers have determined a link between periodontal disease and other health issues such as, stroke, cardiovascular disease, diabetes, bacterial pneumonia, and increased risk of low-weight deliveries in pregnant women. A balanced diet, consistent oral hygiene, and regular dental checkups and cleanings will significantly reduce the risk of developing periodontal disease.

Diagnosis

During you cleaning visits, our hygienist will evaluate the health of your gums. She will measure and record the depth of pockets at the gum line and take note of any bleeding, inflammation, or tooth mobility. A periodontal diagnosis will fall into one of these categories:

Gingivitis

The first stage of gum disease in which gums are irritated, tender, and likely to bleed due to plaque and its toxins

Periodontitis

Deep pockets filled with bacteria and pus are apparent between teeth and gums. Gums are inflamed and bleed easily, and slight to moderate bone loss is possible.

Advanced Periodontitis

The gums, bone, and periodontal ligament are destroyed and tooth support is compromised. Generalized moderate to severe bone loss may be present, and teeth may be loose or missing.

Periodontal Therapy

When periodontal problems are detected, we will help you get your oral health back on track. We will evaluate your condition and recommend the appropriate treatment, depending on the severity of the disease.

In its earliest stage, gum disease can cause little to no damage in the mouth. It can often be controlled with professional dental cleanings and improved daily oral hygiene habits. However, you may need a deep cleaning, which involves scaling and root planing.

Scaling and root planing removes tartar, plaque, and toxins from above and below the gum line and removes rough spots on root surfaces. This procedure helps gum tissue heal and pockets shrink. Additional treatment may include the prescription topical antibiotic, like Arestin. In the event that scaling and root planing prove ineffective, or if you have advanced periodontitis, we may refer you to a periodontist who specializes in advanced periodontal treatments.

If you want quality family dentistry, look no further. Dr. Varghese George delivers compassionate, professional dental care. Make your appointment now for a healthy, winning smile. Our office serves families from Mesquite, Garland, Balch Springs, Rowlett, Forney, and the East Dallas area.