Gum Disease Therapy
Periodontal (gum) disease is an oral health concern that occurs when plaque and tartar buildup damages and destroys that supportive soft tissue and alveolar bone surrounding teeth. In the earliest stages, known as gingivitis, the symptoms are mild. Many patients are completely unaware of this common oral health issue until they are already suffering from the more advanced form of gum disease, periodontitis. The best way to keep your smile whole and healthy is to partner with the Southland Smiles team to prevent gum disease with regular professional teeth cleanings and thorough at-home hygiene. If you’d like to find out more about gum disease, call to schedule your checkup today.
During every six month checkup, we’ll screen for early indicators of gum disease. One of the most common results of developing gum disease is deepening of the pockets between teeth and gums. This occurs as the plaque buildup breaks down the connections between teeth and supportive oral structures. Thus, we complete periodontal charting at every six month visit. We carefully measure the depth of the gums around each tooth. Then, we compare that to the previous depth. This allows us to diagnose and begin treatment right away if we notice pocket depth has increased between appointments.
Symptoms of Gum Disease
There are numerous symptoms of gum disease, but unfortunately, many of them are so mild that they go unnoticed by patients until the condition is already very advanced. Let our team know right away if you notice any of the following areas for concern:
- Bleeding gums while eating or cleaning teeth
- Swollen or discolored gums
- Itchy or irritated soft tissue
- Teeth that appear longer
- Teeth that shift or a bite that doesn’t fit together the way it used to
- Chronic bad breath
Depending on the severity of the disease, we’ll recommend different therapies to renew oral health. In most cases, treatment begins with something as simple as more frequently professional teeth cleanings in our office. We may also recommend a more advanced cleaning procedure known as scaling. This treatment thoroughly removes plaque and tartar while decontaminating the soft tissue to prevent continued infection. Combined with scaling, we will likely also perform root planing, which is the smoothing of tooth roots to prevent future plaque and tartar buildup.