What is Periodontal (Gum) Disease?
Periodontal disease is an infection that attacks and damages the gum and connective tissue inside the mouth. It can develop when food debris, bacteria, and acid accumulate on the teeth as plaque. If plaque isn’t removed when brushing and flossing regularly, it turns into tartar.
Over time, bacterial plaque and tartar can cause severe harm to the teeth, gums, and underlying jawbone. The first signs of gum disease are subtle, like red gums and bleeding while brushing, but the symptoms become much worse with time:
- Loose teeth
- Chronic bad breath
- Infection and pus around the teeth and gums
- Receding gum line
- Tooth loss
- Bone loss
In addition to being the leading cause of tooth loss, periodontal disease is associated with other serious health conditions like diabetes, bacterial pneumonia, cardiovascular disease, and increased risk during pregnancy and childbirth.
However, the good news is that damage from gum disease can be stopped and maintained if it’s caught early enough. That’s why it’s so important to visit Harmony Dental Group for periodontal disease therapy.
During your regular six-month check-up, a periodontal examination is performed to check for signs and symptoms of gum disease. Using a small dental instrument called a periodontal probe, we assess these key factors:
- Spacing between the teeth and the gums
- Amount of bleeding
- Tooth mobility and alignment
- Presence of plaque and tartar
After that evaluation, Dr. Farid will determine which stage of gum disease currently exists in your mouth:
- Gingivitis: The only stage of gum disease that is possible to reverse
- Periodontitis: The stage of gum disease that causes infection and permanent bone loss
- Advanced Periodontitis: The most severe stage of gum disease that results in tooth loss, extensive bone loss, and widespread damage to the mouth
Harmony Dental Group offers multiple periodontal disease treatment options to meet your individual needs.
If your gum disease is categorized as gingivitis, you may only need one to two regular dental cleanings. Professional cleanings remove plaque and bacteria that brushing alone cannot. Eliminating these substances gives your mouth a chance to “reset” itself.
If your condition has advanced into periodontitis, we may recommend a procedure called scaling and root planing. This specialized periodontal deep cleaning removes toxins, plaque, and tartar from above and below the gum line. Scaling and root planing is often combined with medicated mouth rinses and antibiotics to control infection and heal gum tissue.
After your periodontal treatment, it’s essential that you take steps to prevent plaque and tartar buildup in the future:
1. Develop a diligent home care routine to control plaque and tartar formation
2. Visit Harmony Dental Group three to four times a year for regular periodontal cleanings to prevent the disease from recurring.
Laser Bacterial Reduction
Laser periodontal therapy has revolutionized the way that Harmony Dental Group can treat gum disease.
Laser Bacterial Reduction, or LBR, uses concentrated light energy to precisely target the area of the mouth being treated. It’s a noninvasive way to kill bacteria during periodontal therapy and routine cleaning visits. You don’t feel any pain, and none of your healthy tissue is disturbed!
During LBR, high-intensity non-cutting laser light is focused around the teeth at the gumline, killing harmful bacteria in the mouth.
Even if you are not suffering from active periodontal disease, you may benefit from LBR. It’s a simple treatment that is highly effective at eliminating bacteria in the mouth. When combined with focused laser bacterial reduction, periodontal disease therapy’s effectiveness is greatly improved, resulting in much better chances of success. Using LBR during dental cleanings and as a supplement to other treatments for periodontal disease can improve the overall health of teeth and gums and can even give the immune system a boost.