Periodontal Therapy - St. Peters,
Stop Tooth Loss with Gum Therapy
What is Gum Disease?
Gum disease is literally an infection of the gum tissue and is actually among the most common chronic diseases in the United States. This is largely because gum disease can exist without you even realizing it, especially in the earliest stages of development. It’s typically caused by unremoved dental plaque and tartar releasing acids which attack not just tooth enamel, but the gum tissue holding teeth in place. After enough time, this can irritate the gums and make them red, tender, and inflamed. Without treatment, the gums will eventually form pockets in between teeth and begin to recede, exposing more of the overall tooth structure. Tooth will also begin to fall out as the foundation holding them in place permanently deteriorates.
Diagnosing Gum Disease
When you come into the practice, we pay close attention to all of your essential oral structures, especially your gums. If the gums appear to be red or inflamed, it could be due to the early signs of gingivitis beginning to develop. In order to better evaluate the severity of your gum disease, we measure the pocket depth of your gum tissue. The deeper the pockets, the more developed and serious your gum disease has become. If we determine that a simple dental cleaning and improved at-home care is not enough to resolve your gum disease, we’ll take the necessary steps to stop the infection from spreading further.
Is Gum Disease Treatable?
The good news is gum disease is very treatable. At our office, we use scaling, root planing, and antibiotic therapy to effectively reduce the effects of gum disease, break down harmful plaque, and accelerate the healing process.
Scaling and Root Planning
Scaling specifically refers to the practice of removing harmful plaque and tartar from areas above and beneath the gumline. The key here is to remove plaque that would not otherwise be removable via traditional brushing, flossing or professional cleanings. The second step, known as root planing, is designed to promote the reattachment of the tooth roots to the gums. This prevents future gum recession, which reduces teeth sensitivity. Keep in mind that this treatment needs to be performed once every three to four months as the gums need time to heal.
The last step of periodontal therapy is antibiotic treatment, which is basically the practice of placing antibiotics in the deep pockets of your gum tissue so they can more effectively heal. Antibiotics are designed to promote healing in between scaling and root planing treatment. When you come back for your follow-up appointment, we’ll confirm that the antibiotics are working as planned.