Nearly half of all adults are affected by periodontitis at some point. This condition is also known simply as gum disease, and it occurs when a person’s gums become irritated by bacteria and plaque. The condition will first become noticeable when the gums appear darkened and swollen. They may also notice bleeding during flossing and brushing. Although the condition may seem relatively minor at first, it will most likely become worse if proper treatment is not provided.
Over time, the irritated gums will begin to retract and pull away from the teeth. This will establish empty voids known as periodontal pockets. These spaces can quickly become filled with further plaque and harmful bacteria. By accessing these empty spaces, the bacteria will be able to manifest and spread throughout the mouth more easily. Measuring the depths of these pockets is an accurate way to determine how far the condition has spread. The deeper the pockets, the further the condition has spread throughout the mouth.
Eventually, the condition can make its way to the jawbone and the connective tissues of the teeth. The bacteria and plaque will begin eating away at the jawbone and cause serious damage. This can cause the teeth to lose proper support, and they will begin to come loose and fall out.
At Independent Dental Care, we understand the seriousness of periodontitis. That is why we strive to help patients overcome the condition before major damage occurs. We offer a variety of procedures that are designed to treat periodontitis at nearly any stage. By seeking treatment early, a patient is more likely to overcome the condition and prevent severe consequences such as jawbone deterioration and tooth loss. Our lineup of periodontal services includes scaling and root planing, dental crown lengthening and gingivectomies.
Scaling and Root Planing
Scaling and root planing is a time-tested treatment for putting a stop to gum disease and encouraging healing. The scaling process involves using advanced dental tools to reach deep below the gum line and clean out any plaque and tartar that is present. Next, the rough areas on the root surfaces are smoothed out in a process known as root planing. Smoothing out these surfaces will help to prevent future buildups from occurring so that the gums can heal properly. This treatment has a high success rate for gum disease.
Dental Crown Lengthening
A common side-effect of gum disease is an unattractive “gummy” smile that is caused by swollen gum tissue. To combat this problem, we can cut away at the excessive gum tissue to expose more of the patient’s natural teeth. This will also help to restore the overall appearance of the gums. Dental crown lengthening is also useful in situations when the teeth have experienced damage below the gum line and need to be accessed for treatment.
If a person’s gum disease has reached a point where it cannot be effectively treated with scaling and root planing, a more advanced treatment known as gingivectomy may be needed. This procedure involves cutting away the loose and diseased gum tissue so that a more complete cleaning can be provided. More importantly, a gingivectomy will eliminate the periodontal pockets and stop the condition from spreading. This can prevent the gum disease from reaching the jawbone, and a fast recovery will most likely follow thereafter.
Periodontitis is not something that should be taken lightly. It is very important that you seek our treatment for the condition as early as possible to prevent serious problems from occurring. Please call us at (239) 437-8900 to schedule an appointment.