fbpx

Gum Disease Therapy

Periodontal Disease Therapy in Aliana & Conroe, TX

Halt Gum Disease in Its Tracks with Periodontal Therapy at Epic Smiles

At Epic Smiles, we understand the importance of healthy gums for a beautiful and functional smile. When gum disease threatens oral health, we offer effective periodontal therapy, also known as scaling and root planing (SRP), to stop its progression.

Call our Aliana, TX, location at (281) 903-5635 or our Conroe, TX, location at (936) 539-9400 to learn more from our top dentist near Houston, TX. 

What is Periodontal Gum Disease?

Periodontal disease, also known as gum disease, is an inflammatory condition that affects the tissues surrounding and supporting your teeth. It’s caused by a buildup of plaque, a sticky film of bacteria that forms on your teeth. When plaque isn’t removed through regular brushing and flossing, it hardens into tartar (calculus). This creates a breeding ground for bacteria, leading to gum inflammation and infection.

There are two main stages of gum disease:

  • Gingivitis: This is the early stage of gum disease. Symptoms may include swollen, red, and tender gums that bleed easily during brushing or flossing. Gingivitis is reversible with good oral hygiene practices and professional dental cleanings.
  • Periodontitis: If gingivitis is left untreated, it can progress to periodontitis, a more severe form of gum disease. Periodontitis damages the gums, bones, and ligaments that hold your teeth in place. This can lead to tooth loss and other health complications.

What Causes Periodontal Disease?

The primary cause of periodontal disease is poor oral hygiene. When plaque isn’t removed regularly, it builds up along the gum line and hardens into tartar. This creates an environment where bacteria can thrive and release toxins that irritate the gums. The body’s immune system tries to fight the infection, leading to inflammation and the characteristic symptoms of gum disease.

Here are some other factors that can increase your risk of developing gum disease:

  • Smoking and Tobacco Use: Smoking weakens the immune system’s ability to fight infection, making it harder to control gum disease.
  • Genetics: Some people are genetically predisposed to be more susceptible to gum disease.
  • Certain Medical Conditions: Diabetes, HIV/AIDS, and other chronic health conditions can contribute to gum disease.
  • Hormonal Changes: Pregnancy, puberty, and menopause can cause fluctuations in hormone levels that can affect gum health.
  • Medications: Certain medications can cause dry mouth, which can increase the risk of gum disease.

Signs of Periodontal Disease

Early detection of gum disease is crucial for successful treatment. Here are some warning signs to be aware of:

  • Gum Inflammation: Look for swollen, red, or puffy gums. Healthy gums should be firm and pink.
  • Bleeding Gums: Gums that bleed easily during brushing or flossing are a common sign of gum disease.
  • Persistent Bad Breath (Halitosis): Chronic bad breath that doesn’t improve with brushing or mouthwash can be caused by gum disease.
  • Receding Gums: As gum disease progresses, the gums pull away from the teeth, exposing more of the tooth root. This can make teeth appear longer and increase sensitivity.
  • Loose Teeth: In severe cases of gum disease, the bone and tissues supporting your teeth can be damaged, leading to loose teeth.
  • Pus Between Teeth and Gums: Pus is a white or yellow discharge that indicates infection. If you notice pus around your teeth and gums, it’s a sign of advanced gum disease.
  • Changes in Bite: As the bone and tissues supporting your teeth are destroyed, your bite may change. You might notice difficulty chewing or a misalignment of your teeth.

Our Periodontal Disease Treatments

Scaling and Root Planing (SRP)

Scaling and root planing (SRP), also known as deep cleaning, is a non-surgical procedure used to treat gum disease (periodontitis) in its early to moderate stages. SRP is typically performed in one or two appointments, depending on the severity of your gum disease. Following the procedure, you may experience mild discomfort and sensitivity, which can be managed with over-the-counter pain medication.

Antibiotics

In some cases, alongside SRP, your dentist might recommend antibiotics to combat gum disease. It’s important to note that antibiotics are not a substitute for SRP. They work best in conjunction with deep cleaning to remove plaque and tartar buildup, creating a favorable environment for healing.

Surgical Procedures

For advanced cases of gum disease with significant bone loss or deep pockets that cannot be addressed with SRP alone, gum tissue surgical procedures might be necessary. Surgical procedures for gum disease typically require local anesthesia or sedation to ensure patient comfort.

Recovery time varies depending on the specific procedure performed. Your dentist near Houston, TX, will discuss the details of the surgery, aftercare instructions, and potential risks and benefits involved.

Aftercare for Gum Disease Treatments

Following periodontal treatment, proper aftercare is essential to prevent gum disease from recurring. Here are some key aftercare practices:

  • Maintain Good Oral Hygiene: Brush your teeth twice daily for two minutes each time, and floss daily to remove plaque and food particles.
  • Regular Check-ups: Schedule regular checkups with your dentist for professional cleanings and to monitor your gum health.
  • Manage Risk Factors: If you smoke, quitting is one of the best things you can do for your overall health, including your gums. Discuss other gum disease risk factors like diabetes with your physician to ensure proper management.
  • Maintain a Healthy Diet: Eat a balanced diet rich in fruits, vegetables, and whole grains to support overall health and gum health.

Frequently Asked Questions

How can I prevent gum disease?

Gum disease is largely preventable with a good oral hygiene routine and regular dental checkups. Here are some key steps you can take:

  • Brushing: Brush your teeth twice daily for two minutes each time, using a soft-bristled brush and fluoride toothpaste. Be sure to brush along the gum line where plaque tends to build up.
  • Flossing: Floss daily to remove plaque and food particles from between your teeth, where brushing can’t reach.
  • Diet: Limit sugary and acidic foods that can promote plaque growth. Opt for a healthy diet rich in fruits, vegetables, and whole grains.
  • Regular Dental Visits: Schedule regular checkups and cleanings with your dentist. They can identify early signs of gum disease and recommend additional treatment if needed.

Can gum disease go away on its own?

Unfortunately, gum disease won’t typically go away on its own. In the early stage (gingivitis), you might experience bleeding gums, which can improve with better oral hygiene. However, if left untreated, gum disease progresses and becomes more difficult to reverse.

How serious is gum disease?

Gum disease is a serious condition that should not be ignored. If left untreated, it can lead to:

  • Receding gums: This exposes the tooth root, making teeth sensitive and more prone to decay.
  • Bone loss: As gum disease progresses, it can damage the bone that supports your teeth.
  • Tooth loss: In severe cases, gum disease can lead to tooth loss.
  • Increased risk of other health problems: Studies have shown a link between gum disease and other health problems like heart disease, stroke, and diabetes.

Does dental insurance cover the cost of gum disease treatments?

Dental insurance coverage for gum disease treatment varies depending on your specific plan. Many plans cover routine cleanings and some may cover part of the cost of periodontal therapy (SRP) depending on the severity of your gum disease. Contact your insurance provider to understand your specific coverage details.

Protect Your Smile’s Healthy Foundation with Gum Disease Therapy

We understand the importance of early intervention to prevent gum disease from progressing and protect your oral health. Regular dental checkups and cleanings, along with good oral hygiene practices at home, are essential for maintaining healthy gums and a beautiful smile.

Schedule an appointment today at Epic Smiles in Aliana (281-903-5635) or Conroe (936-539-9400) to discuss your gum health and explore personalized treatment options. We welcome patients from Richmond, Houston, and Willis!