Periodontal gum disease is a gradually advancing condition, increasing in severity over time as naturally occurring bacteria in your mouth mixes with pieces of food and saliva. This generates a tacky, transparent plaque that can wreak havoc on your teeth if left untreated. Many men and women think that diligent brushing and flossing are all it takes to eradicate the plaque, but that isn't the case. As the plaque builds up and becomes tartar on your teeth, your gums may start to become irritated. This is when it is important to see an experienced professional, like dentist Dr. Drew Randall at Randall Dentistry in Dallas, TX. He can provide more effective periodontal maintenance treatments to help prevent future occurrences of gum disease. When periodontal disease moves past the initial stage (which is gingivitis) into the stages called periodontitis and advanced periodontitis, bone and tooth loss are very likely, and both can cause a variety of complications for patients.
Good candidates for periodontal maintenance treatments have been previously diagnosed with one of the three stages of gum disease. There are also certain factors that can make individuals more susceptible to periodontal disease, such as:
- Tobacco use/smoking
- Genetic factors
- Certain medications
- Poor nutrition/obesity
- Old age
- Increased stress
What To Expect
There are a variety of periodontal procedures that may be used to combat gum disease. The primary goal is to prevent further infection. Dr. Randall and the team at Randall Dentistry usually begin with a small tool called a probe, which can be compared to a small metal ruler that can check and measure the affected pockets near and under the teeth. Digital x-rays can also detect any tooth loss or bone deterioration. The results from this examination will help determine the type and amount of treatments used. Therapies typically begin with a focused cleaning and plaque removal with a technique called scaling and root planing. Prescription medication may also be taken to treat infections. Bone and tissue grafts may be considered for patients in the advanced stages of the disease.
The trick to effective healing from many periodontal therapies is keeping rigorous dental hygiene in the home. During your consultation, Dr. Randall will examine ways you can further take advantage of treatment by altering, enhancing, or quitting some habits, like smoking (which may exacerbate the symptoms of the disease).
As periodontal therapies are customized, based on the severity of the disease (and also the needs of the patient), healing timeframes and directions will differ. It's extremely important that you brush twice daily with fluoride toothpaste, floss frequently to eliminate buildup amassing among the teeth, and also see Randall Dentistry often for exams and deep cleanings.
Since the suggested maintenance treatments for gum disease could vary, so may insurance policies and related prices. Our staff will advocate for you on a personal basis to maximize the part of your therapies paid for by your insurer. If you do not have health insurance, Dr. Randall can talk about treatment alternatives and costs to create a treatment plan that fits your budget. During your consultation, inquire about medical financing options and ask us to help you learn more about it.
Although gum disease is not entirely curable, comprehensive therapy and scheduled check-ups by an experienced dental staff may help to keep your symptoms manageable and mild. If you have been previously diagnosed with periodontal gum disease or at a high risk, we invite you to schedule a consultation with Dr. Randall at Randall Dentistry.