Periodontal Therapy – Baytown, TX
Rescue Your Smile from Gum Disease
The single most common type of disease found throughout the American population is gum disease. In fact, it is estimated that gum disease impacts about 80% of the population at any given time. Gum disease has also been linked to a range of different health conditions, including strokes and respiratory problems.
But what actually is gum disease, and why is it so common even in the U.S. where oral healthcare is readily available? What can you do to prevent it, and how can it be treated if you already have it? What is its connection to overall health issues that seem to have nothing to do with the gums? Learn more about gum disease and what you can do to keep yourself protected below.
The Significance of Gum Disease
Gum disease is really a bacterial infection in the gums. It can start early and will become progressively more damaging as the individual ages and it is not treated. It starts with the formation of plaque and then tartar just at the gumline or slightly below. As the tartar formation becomes larger, it irritates the gum tissue. As food particles and bacteria become trapped, the infection quickly spreads.
Over time, the infection can lead to deep pockets of bacteria in the gum tissue and bone loss surrounding the teeth. This can cause tooth loss and higher risks of the health issues discussed above.
Often, the first signs of gum disease are overlooked. They can include red, irritated, and swollen gums, along with bleeding from the gums during brushing and flossing.
Early Detection and Prevention is Critical
One of the many issues that our dental team will consider when you are having a checkup is the condition of your gums and the presence of early signs of gum disease. Often by learning better and more effective ways to brush and floss, you can prevent gum disease from becoming an issue.
If you have gum disease, Dr. Hutto has several options for treatment, depending on the severity of your specific case. Possible choices include:
Scaling & Root Planing
Scaling and root planing can be thought of as a professional dental cleaning that’s been elevated to the next level. This procedure has two distinct sections – first, our team will eliminate large accumulations of plaque and tartar from below the gumline with special instruments, which is known as “scaling.” Then, we will specifically target the rough surfaces along the tooth roots, which are known to attract infectious bacteria over time. By carefully smoothing these areas with “root planing,” we can promote the healthy reattachment of gum tissue and minimize the chances of further inflammation.
ARESTIN® Antibiotic Therapy
Antibiotic therapy is a helpful supplement that may be recommended following scaling and root planing. This medication is applied directly to the deep periodontal pockets, where stray bacteria can lurk following treatment. The antibiotic’s healing effects can last for days and weeks following your appointment, and studies have shown that periodontal pockets can be significantly reduced in size with this vital exposure, leading to a healthier smile and improved wellbeing.
How Can Gum Disease Affect Your Whole-Body Health?
Many patients don’t realize that the severity of gum disease can negatively influence much more than the teeth and gums – your overall health can suffer consequences as well. While research is still ongoing, countless studies have demonstrated a clear link between the presence of infectious bacteria in the mouth and several common disorders, including diabetes, strokes, heart disease, respiratory infections, and even pregnancy complications. This is just one more reason why our team hopes to address the presence of gum disease with effective therapy as soon as it develops.