Gum disease – also known as periodontal disease – is a common, yet dangerous oral health condition. When gum disease goes undiagnosed and untreated, it will eventually wreak havoc on a patient’s oral health, and even his or her general wellbeing. At Beautiful Dentistry, Dr. Heap and our staff provide periodontal disease treatment that can stop its progression and destruction of oral tissue while improving a person’s overall oral health. In addition to preventive services such as oral health education and standard dental cleanings, our practice offers scaling and root planing and laser dentistry therapy.
The Onset and Advancement of Gum Disease
Gum disease begins when irritants inflame and infect the gingival tissue. The gums are an important component of the oral health system; they support the placement of teeth while also protecting the roots of teeth from exposure to plaque and tartar accumulation. When the gums become inflamed and irritated, they will pull away from the teeth, leaving roots vulnerable to irritants and debris.
Untreated periodontal disease also means that the infection associated with gum disease can spread throughout the mouth and even enter a person’s bloodstream. Since gum disease weakens the bond between teeth and gingiva, teeth can become loose. Unsupported teeth are vulnerable to infection, movement, and even falling out. Moreover, the infection associated with periodontal disease can erode bone mass in the jaw.
Treating Periodontal Disease
Once gum disease advances to a certain point, it is only manageable and not curable. When our practice detects signs of gum disease, Dr. Heap will develop a custom treatment plan that addresses the infection and tartar accumulation. Periodontal therapy will also help encourage new soft tissue growth so that the gums can possibly reattach to teeth. Common treatment methods include root scaling and planing and laser-assisted periodontal therapy.
Root scaling and planing are actually two different procedures; but they are often performed in one visit. The goal of this treatment is to remove tartar accumulation below the gum line – especially along the roots of teeth. Once tartar begins to accumulate on the roots, the rough and textured surface of tooth structure make it more likely that tartar will collect along the roots in the future. To help prevent this from happening, the roots of teeth are gently filed and smoothed. Depending on a patient’s unique situation, this type of therapy may be administered in increments.
Soft tissue lasers are also used to remove infected gum tissue. These lasers can clean deep within the gums without the need for cutting and sutures. Laser therapy can also encourage the reattachment of gum tissue.
To learn more about the services we offer, or to reserve an appointment with Dr. Heap, contact our team at Beautiful Dentistry.