Periodontal Care in Scottsdale, AZ
Caring for your teeth is incredibly important, but they’re not the only part of your mouth that requires plenty of attention. Taking care of your gums and the bone that helps to support your teeth are also vital to maintaining good oral health. That’s where periodontal care comes in.
Without proper periodontal care, you’re likely to develop periodontitis or gum disease. Periodontitis is incredibly common, especially in adults, and while it may only have mild symptoms in its earlier stages, it can present some serious problems to both your oral and your overall health if it’s ignored long enough.
Dr. Seerat Mann, Dr. Todd Shatkin, and the team at Mini Dental Implant Centers of America in Scottsdale offer periodontal care to all of our clients looking to protect their healthy smiles. If you’re interested in learning more about what that care entails, read on for all you need to know.
What Is Periodontitis?
Periodontitis, otherwise known as periodontal disease or gum disease, is an infection of the gums caused by the buildup of plaque in the pockets between the tooth and gum tissue.
Plaque is a sticky film containing bacteria that is allowed to develop when oral hygiene is not thorough enough. In time, plaque will develop into tartar, or calculus, which often cannot be removed without the help of special dental tools.
There are three different stages of periodontal disease, beginning with gingivitis and ending with advanced or severe periodontitis. In its earliest stages, periodontal disease can be cured, but once it has advanced enough, it can only be treated.
Symptoms of advanced periodontal disease include inflammation of the gums, gums that bleed easily, receding gums, tooth sensitivity, loose teeth, and even tooth loss.
You might be shocked to learn that an estimated 47.2% of adults aged 30 or older have periodontitis of some kind. This number becomes significantly higher in older age groups. That’s why periodontal care, both at home and at your dentist’s office, is incredibly important.
Signs You May Have Periodontitis
If you don’t maintain a great oral hygiene routine, including daily flossing, there’s a good chance that you currently have some form of periodontitis. Below are some common symptoms to look out for:
Bleeding gums are one of the first signs of periodontitis. If brushing or flossing causes bleeding, it’s likely that you’re in need of periodontal care.
Tender or Inflamed Gums
Infected gums will swell and can potentially feel irritated and tender, and they may also appear red.
When your gums become infected, they may begin to recede, potentially creating the illusion that your teeth are growing longer.
A receding gum line will expose parts of your teeth that were previously protected. Those parts of your teeth may be more sensitive to hot and cold.
Halitosis (Bad Breath)
There are a few reasons why your breath may be unpleasant, but if the issue is persistent, then it may be an indication that you have gum disease.
Pus Around Teeth and Gums
Infections can often produce pus as your immune system attempts to fight them off. Gum disease can result in pus developing around the area between your teeth and gums.
Altered Tooth Spacing
As gum disease advances, it can cause bone loss which may result in your teeth shifting and creating spaces that did not previously exist.
Bone loss caused by periodontitis can cause your teeth to lose support and begin to come loose.
Advanced periodontal disease can result in enough bone loss that your teeth begin to fall out.
If you’re experiencing any of these symptoms, it may not necessarily be periodontitis, but it’s still important that you check in with your dentist and have them perform an examination to determine the cause.
The Stages of Periodontitis
Periodontal disease has three distinct stages to it, each of them characterized by certain symptoms.
In the earlier stages, there may be very few symptoms that you’ll be able to identify on your own, but with some periodontal care from your dentist, they will be able to determine the current state of the infection.
Each stage of periodontitis has been detailed below:
Gingivitis is a term you may already be familiar with but that you don’t necessarily know how to define. It’s the earliest stage of periodontitis, and it’s incredibly common in American adults.
This condition begins when plaque is allowed to develop in the area between the gums and teeth, eventually irritating the soft tissue and causing inflammation and tenderness. Gingivitis can also result in the gums bleeding easily when you’re brushing or flossing your teeth.
When plaque is around long enough, it eventually hardens into tartar, otherwise known as calculus. The plaque and tartar can then begin to find their way deeper into the area between the gums and teeth, further irritating and inflaming the gums.
Receding gums and mild to moderate bone loss occur during this stage. Periodontitis can easily be treated at this level, but it can’t be cured.
As the infection advances, the gums will continue to recede and weaken, and the bone that supports your teeth will continue to dissipate. This level of bone loss will eventually result in loose teeth and tooth loss unless the periodontitis is treated.
Types of Periodontal Care
If your dentist determines that you have some form of periodontitis when you come in for periodontal care, there are a number of treatments they can offer. The most common among them are listed below:
A Good Oral Hygiene Routine
This form of periodontal care is done at home. Brushing twice a day and flossing once a day is your best bet for maintaining healthy gums that won’t need any of the following treatments.
Scaling and Root Planing
Scaling and root planing is the periodontal care you’re most likely to receive if you have periodontitis. This procedure involves the use of specialized tools that can help to clean out the affected areas and remove tartar buildup. If you do have periodontitis, you should be receiving this form of periodontal care once every six months.
There are various types of medications your dentist may use, recommend, or prescribe that can help combat your periodontitis. They range from antimicrobial mouthwashes to oral antibiotics to antibiotic gels applied directly to the areas where the infection has occurred.
These medications may be used as part of your scaling and root planing treatment, or they may be something you take at home.
Flap surgery is only necessary for certain patients with advanced periodontitis. It involves the lifting of the gum tissue in order for your dentist to gain better access to the areas where plaque and tartar buildup has occurred. The gums are then sutured back in a way that makes it more difficult for plaque and tartar to return.
Bone and tissue grafts are another type of periodontal care that is only necessary in certain advanced cases of periodontitis. These procedures help to replace lost gum tissue and bone by taking material from another part of the body or a synthetic source and grafting it to the affected area.
In Need of Periodontal Care in Scottsdale?
If you’re looking to prevent or treat periodontitis, contact Mini Dental Implant Centers of America in Scottsdale today to schedule a free consultation. We serve patients in Scottsdale, Mesa, Tempe, Phoenix, and throughout the State of Arizona.