Why it is important to seek periodontal therapy in Sherman, TX

If you have noticed blood in the sink when you brush your teeth, you may be suffering from gum disease – a very common condition that will affect most of us at some point during our lifetime. Gum disease is known by an array of names including periodontal disease, periodontitis, and gingivitis. However, they all refer to the inflammation and infection of gum tissue that is typically caused by the accumulation of plaque and tartar.

Blood when brushing your teeth is just one of the earliest symptoms of this progressive condition, with others including persistent bad breath, increased tooth sensitivity, red swollen gums, abscesses, dental pain, and loose teeth.

Periodontal therapy refers to surgical and non-surgical techniques that are designed to target the gums and bone that support your teeth and that are adversely affected in patients who have been diagnosed with gum disease.

Why is it important to seek periodontal therapy?

There are a number of different reasons why it is crucial to seek periodontal therapy if you have been diagnosed with gum disease.

Prevent tooth loss:

The main reason why most patients seek periodontal therapy is to try and prevent tooth loss. When gum disease progresses into more advanced stages, the bacteria causing the infection begin to affect the soft tissue of the gums, the tooth root, and the jaw bone. Gum tissue may start to recede, and not only does this look unsightly, but it also means that it is not supporting your teeth as well as it should. In addition to this, if the infection spreads to the tooth root and jaw bone it could cause it to deteriorate and this can lead to your tooth coming loose as the root is less secure.

Avoid unpleasant symptoms

Our mouths are warm, moist environments that are ideal for bacteria growth. This means that what may start as a small problem can quickly develop into a significant issue that spreads throughout our mouths to all structures, including our other teeth. By seeking periodontal therapy as soon as possible, we can prevent many of the negative effects gum disease will have on our oral health and as such, avoid unpleasant symptoms such as pain, foul breath, abscesses, inability to eat and more.

Protect your wider health

Periodontal disease is an inflammatory condition that may begin in the mouth but can quickly spread. If gum disease isn’t treated promptly, the bacteria causing the infection can enter the bloodstream and move freely around the body, affecting any organs that it comes into contact with. This includes those in all of our main body systems, including our respiratory system (lungs), circulatory system (heart) and digestive system (kidneys and liver). Studies have shown that patients with advanced periodontal disease are more likely to develop serious health problems including:

  • High blood pressure

  • Heart disease

  • Kidney disease

  • Liver failure

  • Alzheimer’s Disease / Dementia

  • Diabetes

  • Cancer

  • Stroke

Therefore, by keeping periodontal disease at bay you can also reduce your risk of developing the aforementioned severe health conditions.

What treatments are included in periodontal therapy?

There are a variety of different treatments that are considered to be a part of periodontal therapy. Some are non-surgical while others require invasive action to be taken. The treatment that you are recommended will depend on the severity of your periodontal disease.

If your dental team has noticed that you are in the early stages of gum disease, you will almost certainly be recommended to increase the frequency of your professional dental cleans. These are valuable as only your dentist has the tools and access to your mouth to perform a truly thorough clean that can prevent bacterial build up along the gum line. If your gum disease has begun to progress, you may be referred for a procedure known as scaling and root planing. This is an even more thorough clean that accesses the pockets that form around the base of the tooth, removing any bacteria that may have spread under the gum tissue, causing irritation and the start of more serious periodontal problems.

Antibiotics, night guards and orthodontic devices such as braces or Invisalign may also be recommended depending on the effects that periodontal disease is having on your teeth and oral health.

If your periodontal disease has progressed significantly, surgical intervention may be the only definitive way to help reverse the effect it is having on your oral health. Some of the key surgical treatments included as part of periodontal therapy include:

  • Soft tissue grafts to treat gum recession caused by periodontal disease

  • Crown lengthening to provide more tooth surface and recontouring the gum line

  • Periodontal pocket reduction surgery. This reduces the size of the gap between the teeth and gums, limiting the number of bacteria and amount of food debris that can become trapped inside and contribute towards worsening periodontal disease

If you would like to find out more about periodontal disease and periodontal therapy, or if you would like to book an appointment to have your teeth assessed by our experienced and knowledgeable dentistry team, please don’t hesitate to get in touch by calling our offices in Sherman, TX on 903-708-6400.

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