The Importance of Periodontal Health

Healthy gums not only look great, but also feel great. Recent research has found that healthy gums can also mean that you are at a decreased risk for numerous chronic and systemic diseases, such as heart disease and diabetes. In addition to this, since periodontal disease is the leading cause of tooth loss among adults (in the U.S.), patients with healthy gums are less likely to lose teeth. In summary, it can be greatly beneficial to maintain health gums – it can mean the difference between a lifetime of healthy, beautiful smiles and chronic health struggles (oral and overall). Fortunately, there are skilled dentists dedicated to helping patients maintain their periodontal (gum) health. This is done through regular preventive visits and non-surgical gum therapies.

Preventive periodontal charting

One of the earliest indicators of gum disease is gum recession. You may have noticed that your dentist or hygienist keeps careful track of the depths of the pockets between your teeth and gums. This is a process called periodontal charting and provides a clear view of changes in the periodontal pockets. If there is a noticeable difference between six-month checkups, it will signal your dentist to take a closer look at your gum health. He or she may make recommendations for changes to your in-office and/or at-home dental care.

Treating early gum disease

If there are signs of the early stages of gum disease, your dental care team will typically renew your oral health with more frequent teeth cleanings. Your oral hygiene routine may also need reviewing. Taking these actions is usually sufficient for halting the advance of gum disease. However, if it proves unsuccessful, there are additional non-surgical treatments available to bring your smile back to health.

Advanced periodontal health options

Taking preventive measures is always the first choice in terms of treatment. However, if gum disease does happen to develop and is not effectively treated with more frequent professional cleanings, some non-surgical periodontal therapies include:

  • Dental scaling: a removal of plaque and tartar buildup as well as damaged tissue
  • Root planing: smoothing out the tooth roots; this helps to discourage the buildup of plaque and tartar along the gum line
  • Antibiotics: both oral and topical antibiotics are available to limit the numbers of plaque-producing bacteria in the mouth

Periodontal Therapy in Sugar Land: Gingivitis vs. Periodontitis

Periodontal disease affects many individuals and progresses in different stages. Often times, people are not even aware that the symptoms they are experiencing can quickly lead to periodontitis. Our staff at Bella Smiles wants to provide our patients with helpful facts regarding the difference between gingivitis and periodontitis as well as practical ways to treat them. Continue reading on to learn more about your oral health.

Symptoms of Gingivitis

The symptoms of gingivitis include the following:

  • Red, swollen, or bleeding gums.
  • Pain when chewing or drinking.
  • Discomfort during and after brushing your teeth in your gums.

If you are experiencing any of these symptoms, it is important to schedule an exam with your dentist right away. These may seem like minor symptoms to some individuals, but they can quickly lead to even more severe issues. Eventually, they will lead to the next stage of periodontal disease, which is periodontitis.

Symptoms of Periodontitis

The symptoms of periodontitis include the following:

  • A receding gum line that eventually painfully expose the roots.
  • Tooth pain and loose teeth that lead to tooth loss.
  • Harmful bacteria will become more abundant in the mouth as it progresses. This causes constant bad breath.

Any of these symptoms means you need immediate professional dental help. It should not be left untreated, as it will only lead to further pain and more extensive treatment later on.

Treatment Options for Gingivitis and Periodontitis

There are a number of treatment options that are used. Your dentist may decide one option is better for your situation. Antibiotic are often used in order to kill the bacteria that is infectious. Restorative options, such as dentures, extractions, implants, or crowns are also used to restore the function and appearance of a smile affected by periodontal disease. There are steps you can take to lower your risk of oral disease and keep your smile healthy and beautiful. Our team at Bella Smiles recommends regular dental exams and cleanings at least twice a year to ensure a healthy mouth. Contact our team for more information today.