Your gums are just as important as your teeth when it comes to your oral health, which is why you need to make sure to keep them free of periodontal disease. At Heritage Dental in Tomball, Texas, Thomas Hernandez, DDS, provides effective treatments for periodontal disease. To learn more or to begin your periodontal disease treatment, schedule a visit to Heritage Dental today by calling the office or booking with the online tool.
Periodontal disease is a condition rooted in a bacterial infection of your gum tissue. It’s the leading cause of tooth loss among adults and can lead to other serious health conditions like coronary artery disease, respiratory disease, diabetes complications, and rheumatoid arthritis.
Periodontal disease develops when plaque is in contact with your teeth for too long. Plaque is a natural byproduct that forms when you consume foods or beverages that contain carbohydrates. It’s a sticky, colorless substance that contains acids and bacteria and is harmless if you remove it daily with brushing and flossing.
If you don’t brush and floss properly, the plaque stays on your teeth, eventually hardening into tartar (calculus), which requires professional cleaning to remove. The bacteria and acids in the plaque and tartar, meanwhile, irritate your gum tissue, which leads to periodontal disease.
Periodontal disease has two stages: gingivitis and periodontitis.
When you have gingivitis, the plaque on your teeth has just begun to irritate your gum tissue. In response, your gum tissue becomes inflamed and might bleed when you brush or floss.
If you don’t treat gingivitis, it can progress into periodontitis, in which your gum tissue becomes so irritated it begins to pull away from your teeth. As your gum tissue recedes, it creates pockets between your teeth and gums. These pockets collect debris and more bacteria, which further irritates your tissues and augments the infection.
Eventually, your gum tissue recedes and decays to the point where the structures holding your teeth in place are destroyed, and your teeth fall out.
Periodontal disease can produce the following symptoms:
Gum disease is notorious for developing silently, meaning that many people don’t realize they have the disease until it’s already in its later stages. By maintaining regular cleanings and checkups with Dr. Hernandez at Heritage Dental, you can ensure that your mouth is healthy and free of periodontal disease.
If your gum disease is still in the gingivitis stage, Dr. Hernandez can usually reverse it by administering more frequent cleanings and instructing you on better at-home care. If your condition has progressed to periodontitis, he might suggest a specialized deep cleaning called scaling and root planing.
With scaling and root planing, Dr. Hernandez uses an ultrasonic cleaner called a scaler to remove the plaque from both above and below your gumline. He then planes or smooths out, the root surfaces of your teeth, making it more difficult for bacteria to develop and giving your gums an easier surface to reattach to.
To schedule your periodontal disease treatment, call Heritage Dental today or book a visit online.