Periodontics is a specialized branch of dentistry that focuses on preventing, diagnosing, and treating periodontal diseases, also known as gum diseases. Periodontal diseases affect the structures supporting the teeth, including the gums, periodontal ligament, and alveolar bone.
Periodontists typically work with patients whose gums have weakened due to gingivitis or periodontitis. They treat gum infections and diseases through procedures like scaling and root planing and pocket reduction surgery. Scaling removes plaque and tartar from the surface of the teeth and below the gum line. Root planing involves smoothing the root surfaces and removing accumulated bacteria along the roots. Pocket reduction surgery can help to eliminate periodontal pockets, which may cause bone loss. When these pockets become too deep, teeth may fail to function appropriately and become loose.
What Is Periodontal Disease?
Periodontal disease is a bacterial infection that attacks the gums and destroys the tissue and bone surrounding the teeth. If left untreated, it can lead to tooth loss. There are several stages of gum disease, ranging from mild gingivitis to advanced periodontitis. Gum disease is treatable in its early stages with non-surgical procedures. However, if neglected, it can advance and become irreversible. When caught in its later stages, surgery may be needed to restore the health of the teeth and gums.
The causes of gum disease range from lifestyle habits to genetics. Some people are more susceptible than others to the bacteria that cause it. Certain medications can cause gum overgrowth or dry mouth, increasing your risk of gum disease. The best way to prevent gum disease is to brush twice daily and floss once daily. Seeing the dentist every six months is also recommended. These visits allow our team to check for early signs of gum disease and provide treatment if needed.
Treatment for Periodontal Disease
Periodontists often employ non-surgical techniques to manage gum diseases, such as scaling and root planing, which involves deep cleaning the teeth and root surfaces to remove plaque and calculus contributing to the disease. They may also perform procedures like dental cleanings, dental hygiene instruction, and antimicrobial therapy to control and manage gum disease.
In cases where non-surgical treatments are insufficient, periodontists may recommend surgical interventions. Periodontal surgery aims to access and treat areas of the gums and support structures that cannot be reached non-surgically. Procedures like flap surgery, gum grafting, bone grafting, and guided tissue regeneration may be performed to repair damaged tissues, reduce pocket depths, and promote gum and bone regeneration.
Periodontal diseases can have severe implications for oral health if left untreated. Consulting with our periodontist is recommended if you have symptoms of gum disease, such as bleeding gums, persistent bad breath, gum recession, loose teeth, or changes in the bite. Visit Cadena Dentistry at 606 N Bedell Ave, Del Rio, TX 78840, or call (830) 775-3322 to restore and maintain your oral health.