Gum Disease is Highly Treatable with Periodontal Care
Taking good care of your teeth can go a long way toward helping you avoid periodontal disease. Also called gum disease, this common condition results from plaque that builds up along and under the gum line, causing inflammation that can lead to infection. In many cases, you may find that gum disease has progressed by the time you notice symptoms. If you have been told that you have gum disease, or if your gums are tender, bleeding, or receding, you should seek treatment as soon as possible. Experienced dentist Van O’Dell can provide effective periodontal care at his North Little Rock, AR, practice to heal your gums and halt further damage. Dr. O’Dell will select the most appropriate periodontal treatment and also help you keep your gums healthy going forward. To schedule a consultation, contact our friendly staff today.
To address gum disease, we offer scaling and root planing treatment, in addition to surgical therapy.
Understanding How Gum Disease Develops
Plaque is a clear, sticky substance made up of bacteria and other particles that forms a film on the teeth. Brushing and flossing your teeth helps clean away plaque, but it can still build up in places where it is difficult for a toothbrush to reach. This is one reason why preventive dentistry, with regular professional cleanings by a dental hygienist, is so important. When plaque is not properly removed, it hardens on the teeth and forms tartar, which only a professional cleaning can remove.
If plaque and tartar stay on the teeth too long, the bacteria cause the gums to become inflamed. This condition, called gingivitis, can progress to periodontitis if it is not successfully treated. Periodontitis is a more serious form of gum disease which causes the gums to recede from the teeth and pockets of infection to form. Tooth loss becomes a real possibility as the bacteria spread under the gum line and the bone and connective tissue that support the teeth begin to break down. Effective treatment is crucial at this point, or the teeth may loosen and fall out, or need to be removed.
Gingivitis can be treated with a professional cleaning followed with good continued at-home care. Periodontitis can be addressed with nonsurgical therapy unless it is advanced, in which case surgery may be required.
Root scaling and planing is a special type of deep cleaning that Dr. O’Dell uses to remove bacteria and deposits above and below the gum line. In some cases, Dr. O’Dell will smooth rough spots on the tooth roots. Dr. O’Dell may also prescribe topical or oral antibiotics to clear up the infection.
Gum surgery can repair the pockets in the gums to fit snugly around the teeth again. As with nonsurgical treatments, the goal is to clear infection and heal the gums. Surgical therapy also involves regenerating healthy gum tissue, and may employ grafts to restore lost bone and tissue. After treatment, it is very important to pay extra attention to your at-home dental hygiene and keep up with regular professional cleanings and exams.
It can be stressful to learn that you have gum disease. However, it is a highly treatable condition, particularly when caught early. Dr. O’Dell helps patients feel at ease by fully explaining all treatments options and providing a relaxed, comfortable environment. To schedule an evaluation for periodontal care, please contact us today.