Periodontal (Gum) Disease

Have you been searching for treatment for periodontal disease near you in Kilgore, TX? If so, Silvertooth Family Dentistry is here to help. Periodontal disease is a bacterial gum infection that can damage the soft tissue and even destroy the bone that supports your teeth. Left untreated, it can lead to severe oral health issues including tooth loss.periodontal disease

At Silvertooth Family Dentistry, we are dedicated to providing our patients with the highest quality of care for all of their periodontal needs. Our experienced team uses advanced technologies to detect early signs of periodontal disease and prescribe treatments that will restore your oral health.

Living a healthy lifestyle is important for overall wellness, including oral hygiene. Brushing and flossing regularly can help prevent gum disease, also called periodontal disease.

The term “periodontal” means “around the tooth.” Periodontal disease (also known as periodontitis and gum disease) is a common inflammatory condition that affects the supporting and surrounding soft tissues of the tooth; also the jawbone itself when in its most advanced stages.

Periodontal disease is often preceded by gingivitis, a bacterial infection of the gum tissue. A bacterial infection affects the gums when the toxins contained in plaque begin to irritate and inflame the gum tissues. Once this bacterial infection colonizes the gum pockets between the teeth, it becomes much more difficult to remove and treat. Periodontal disease is a progressive condition that eventually leads to the destruction of the connective tissue and jawbone. Left untreated, it can lead to shifting teeth, loose teeth, and eventually tooth loss.

Periodontal disease is the leading cause of tooth loss among adults and should always be promptly treated.

Types of Periodontal Disease

When left untreated, gingivitis (mild gum inflammation) can spread below the gum line. When the gums become irritated by the toxins contained in plaque, a chronic inflammatory response causes the body to break down and destroy its bone and soft tissue. There may be little or no symptoms as periodontal disease causes the teeth to separate from the infected gum tissue.

Deepening pockets between the gums and teeth are generally indicative that soft tissue and bone are being destroyed by periodontal disease.X-ray scan

Here are some of the most common types of periodontal disease:

    • Chronic periodontitis – Inflammation within supporting tissues causes deep pockets and gum recession. The teeth may be lengthening, but the gums (gingiva) are receding. This is the most common form of periodontal disease and is characterized by progressive loss of attachment, interspersed with periods of rapid progression.
    • Aggressive periodontitis – This gum disease occurs in an otherwise clinically healthy individual. It is characterized by rapid loss of gum attachment and chronic bone destruction.
    • Necrotizing periodontitis – This periodontal disease most often occurs in individuals suffering from systemic conditions such as HIV, immunosuppression, and malnutrition. Necrosis (tissue death) occurs in the periodontal ligament, alveolar bone, and gingival tissues.
    • Periodontitis caused by systemic disease – This form of gum disease often begins at an early age. Medical conditions such as respiratory disease, diabetes, and heart disease are common cofactors.

Treatment for Periodontal Disease

There are many surgical and non-surgical treatments that your dentist at Silvertooth Family Dental may choose to perform, depending upon the exact condition of the teeth, gums, and jawbone. The dentist will do a complete periodontal exam of the mouth before any treatment is performed or recommended.

Here are some of the more common treatments for periodontal disease:

  • Scaling and root planing – To preserve the health of the gum tissue, the bacteria and the tartar that initially caused the infection must be removed. The gum pockets will be cleaned and treated with antibiotics as necessary to help alleviate the condition. A prescription mouthwash may be incorporated into daily cleaning routines.
  • Tissue regeneration – When the bone and gum tissues have been destroyed, regrowth can be actively encouraged using grafting procedures. A membrane may be inserted into the affected areas to assist regeneration.
  • Pocket elimination surgery – Pocket elimination surgery (also known as flap surgery) is a surgical treatment that can be performed to reduce the pocket size between the teeth and gums. Surgery on the jawbone is another option that eliminates indentations in the bone, which fosters the colonization of bacteria.
  • Dental implants – When teeth have been lost due to periodontal disease, we can restore the aesthetics and functionality of the mouth by using dental implants. Tissue regeneration procedures may be required before the placement of a dental implant to strengthen the bone.

Aftercare for Periodontal Disease

After treatment, it is vital to maintain good oral hygiene habits at home and visit the dentist regularly for checkups. Our dentists may also recommend additional cleanings and treatments to prevent the disease from recurring.

It is also important to manage any underlying medical conditions, such as diabetes or heart disease to help reduce the risk of periodontal disease. Early diagnosis and treatment are essential to preserving the health of your teeth and gums.

Ask your dentist if you have questions or concerns about periodontal disease, periodontal treatment, or dental implants.

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