Periodontal Disease Overview
Made Ya Smile Spring Cypress is dedicated to providing comprehensive care for all types of oral conditions. Many of our Houston, TX patients experience gum (periodontal) disease, which is the primary cause of tooth loss in adults. Caused by bacteria that thrive within the plaque and cause gum inflammation, bleeding, bad breath, loose teeth, and several other concerning symptoms, gum disease is a common, but worrying illness that has been linked to systemic health problems like heart disease, diabetes, and certain cancers. To help you and your family enjoy lifelong healthy smiles, Dr. Tiffany Campbell and her colleagues offer periodontal treatment to restore gum health and help you manage periodontal disease.
Your routine dental exams give Dr. Campbell a chance to identify gum disease as early as possible and suggest the best treatment to keep gum disease from harming your health and smile. Gingivitis is the first stage of gum disease and is reversible with early care. Gingivitis can progress to periodontitis if left untreated, which is the stage in which the bone and connective tissues supporting your teeth become irreversibly damaged. Nonsurgical and surgical periodontal treatment can help stop the progression of gum disease and preserve your gums and bone and reduce the chance of tooth loss. It is not normal to experience symptoms like bleeding or swollen gums, receding gums, and halitosis (chronic bad breath) and any of these signs may indicate a gum problem. Visit our Houston, TX office for a gum disease screening, if you are experiencing any symptoms of a periodontal issue.
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Best Candidates for Periodontal Disease
Periodontal (gum) disease is generally classified in three stages. The beginning stage, in which bacterial plaque irritates the gums and causing redness, tenderness, swelling, and bleeding, is known as gingivitis. This stage of gum disease is completely reversible and does not cause damage to the underlying bone. Periodontitis follows when gingivitis is left to progress. At this point of gum disease, early bone deterioration occurs and gums begin to pull away from the teeth. Advanced periodontitis happens when the infection penetrates into deeper areas of the bone, leaving teeth loose and at serious risk of being lost.
Early diagnosis and treatment is the key to preventing the progression of gum disease. Some symptoms of gum disease may be apparent to you, but the best way to tell if it is affecting your smile is with a periodontal evaluation. Made Ya Smile Spring Cypress routinely screens our patients for gum disease during dental cleaning and exam visits, but if you notice any of the following signs or symptoms, call us right away:
• Loose or shifting teeth
• Chronic bleeding when flossing or brushing
• Bitter taste in the mouth
• Discharge around the gums
• Hypersensitivity or pain along the gumline/base of the tooth
What to Expect with Periodontal Disease
Dr. Campbell will check on your periodontal health and identify the best treatment for your unique case. To thoroughly examine your oral structures for periodontal disease, we will take high-definition digital x-rays to show the level of bone around your teeth. Bone loss is a major indicator that gum disease is present in the mouth. We will also measure the spaces between your teeth and gum, (periodontal pockets) with a small ruler. These pockets hide disease-causing bacteria that can cause the gums to separate from the teeth and deepen these pockets.
If your x-rays show bone loss and your pockets measure more than 3mm, we will likely recommend non-surgical or surgical periodontal disease treatment. The particular treatment will be based on the severity of your gum disease condition and may include scaling and root planing with locally administered antibiotic therapy or a surgical approach in more advanced cases. If you have existing gum recession, you may require a gum graft procedure once your gum disease is under control. We are here to help guide you to better gum health, no matter your treatment needs, and protect your smile for the future.
Periodontal Disease Recovery
After treatment for gum disease, it is vital to maintain recommended cleaning and maintenance appointments and continue care at home with thorough brushing and flossing. Gum disease cannot be cured, but it can be treated and managed to keep further gum and bone damage from occurring and to save your smile from tooth loss. Once your gum disease treatment is complete, your recovery will vary based on whether you experienced nonsurgical or surgical care. We will be sure to give you instructions on how to care for your mouth over the short and long term after your procedure.
Every 90 days or so the bacteria that cause gum disease can reproduce. To keep this bacteria under control as much as possible, Dr. Campbell may recommend periodontal maintenance visits with our hygienists that will be scheduled every 3 – 4 months. These appointments are scheduled instead of typical bi-annual prophylaxis (cleaning) procedures as these less in-depth procedures are not usually effective at controlling most gum disease conditions. Periodontal maintenance takes a deeper approach to cleaning above and below the gumline to reduce and remove plaque, tartar, and bacterial accumulation. During these more frequent visits, we will also provide exams, periodontal evaluations, and x-rays as needed to manage your gum and overall oral health.
Periodontal Disease Insurance Coverage
Coverage for periodontal disease may be offered by your dental insurance plan, and to learn more about your specific benefits, our business team will contact your provider. Made Ya Smile Spring Cypress accepts most PPO plans and will submit your insurance claims for you as well as calculate any potential out-of-pocket expenses. As a serious threat to your health, it is important to get treatment for gum disease, and we work hard to help you access affordable care when you need it. This is why we offer convenient low-interest financing options through CareCredit® and our flexible payment methods, to make your care fit within your budget and return you to optimal oral health.
Gum disease is a common but serious illness that does not have to keep you from having a healthy, confident smile. If you notice bleeding, inflammation, bad breath, and other gum disease symptoms contact us right away. Regular cleanings and exams can also minimize your risk for bone and gum damage and even help preserve your general health because they give Dr. Campbell a chance to intervene early with proper treatment. Reach out to Made Ya Smile Spring Cypress at our Houston, TX location today to schedule a gum disease screening to protect your smile for the future.