Periodontal Disease Treatment
Gum health is incredibly important, especially in light of what we now know about its close connection to our overall health and wellness. At Unkel & Shibilski Dental, we provide preventive dentistry to help you maintain excellent gum health and expert treatment if you develop periodontal disease.
What Is Periodontal Disease?
Periodontal or gum disease is a bacterial infection of the soft tissue that supports your teeth. In the early stage, called gingivitis, symptoms include red, puffy, or inflamed gums and bleeding when brushing and flossing.
Gum Disease Symptoms
if not treated promptly, gingivitis progresses to periodontitis, where the infection starts to break down the bone and ligaments that stabilize your teeth. Symptoms of periodontitis are:
- Gums pulling away from your teeth
- Bad breath or a bad taste in the mouth
- Loose teeth
- Pain when chewing
- A change in the way your teeth feel when you bite down.
If you notice any of these gum disease symptoms, please call our Inverness dental office in Englewood, CO, so we can customize a treatment plan to protect your teeth and gums.
How Do You Treat Periodontal Disease?
No two patients are alike, and, at Unkel & Shibilski, we diversify the approach to dental care with each patient and tailor treatment their plan accordingly. Our amazing hygienists are highly skilled, competent, and enthusiastic about helping our patients achieve and maintain healthy gums.
Gingivitis is reversible but requires prompt treatment to prevent it from progressing. Treatment involves a dental cleaning with one of our gentle hygienists. During your cleaning, they brush and floss all tooth surfaces to eliminate plaque buildup and use specialized instruments to remove hardened plaque called tartar.
Since excellent oral hygiene is one of the keys to preventing gum disease, your hygienist will also discuss ways to level up your brushing and flossing skills with you.
Periodontitis Treatment or Scaling and Root Planing
Once gum disease advances to periodontitis, it is not reversible, but we can prevent it from progressing and causing further damage.
Periodontitis treatment involves a deep cleaning procedure called scaling and root planing.
Scaling refers to removing plaque and tartar from all tooth surfaces, including under the gumline. Planing involves smoothing exposed tooth roots to create a smooth surface where bacteria have nowhere to hide. This step also promotes the reattachment of gum tissue to the root surfaces.
Periodontal Maintenance Cleanings
Your hygienist also recommends a schedule of periodontal cleanings going forward to keep periodontitis under control. The number of cleanings needed varies, but some patients require as many as 4–5 per year to protect their teeth and gums.
Steps You Can Take to Prevent Gum Disease
Gum disease is prevalent in the US, affecting 50 percent of adults over age 30. However, it is also highly preventable with the proper care.
- Brush at least twice a day with fluoride toothpaste, especially after meals; floss once
- Use mouthwash to rinse away lingering plaque and food particles
- Schedule routine exams and teeth cleanings every six months
Risk factors for gum disease are smoking or tobacco use, poor dietary or oral health habits, age, genetics, medications that cause dry mouth, and hormonal changes. Our hygienist can help you assess your risk and recommend steps to protect your gum health.
Schedule Your Next Teeth Cleaning
If you are due for your next six-month teeth cleaning or notice any gum disease symptoms described above, please call our Inverness dental office in Englewood, CO.