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Treatment of Gum Disease

Treatment of Periodontal Disease

At Wisdom Dental in Coral Springs, we know that gum health is critical to a healthy, beautiful smile. Dr. Wisdom Akpaka and his associate, Dr. Mariel Petruk, will make you feel genuinely cared for as they gently but thoroughly maintain your periodontal health and expertly treat any gum inflammation that may occur.

Gum disease is a progressive condition that begins with mild gum inflammation called “gingivitis.” Gum disease is mostly caused by improper oral hygiene that allows bacteria to remain on the teeth and infect the gum tissue. Plaque is a biofilm of bacteria that sticks to the surfaces of your teeth, and calculus (tartar) is dental plaque that has hardened with minerals in the saliva and gum tissue fluid. With twice daily brushing and daily flossing, most patients can control the build up of plaque. Dental calculus, however, cannot be removed by brushing and flossing. Even with good oral hygiene, some calculus is likely to build up over a period of several weeks. That’s why regular prophylactic teeth cleaning in the dental office is important for every patient.

Factors that Increase Your Risk for Periodontal Disease

In addition to dental plaque and calculus, there are other factors that increase the risk of developing gum disease. Some of the most common risk factors are:

  • Smoking and chewing tobacco
  • Crooked, rotated or overlapping teeth because it is difficult to thoroughly clean all teeth surfaces
  • Hormonal changes such as pregnancy and menopause
  • Poor nutrition
  • Cancer treatment
  • Stress
  • Mouth breathing
  • Some medications
  • Diabetes mellitus

Symptoms of Periodontal Disease

We urge you to be aware of the symptoms of gum disease. Many people have gum disease. In fact, data from the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention suggest half of the U.S. population have gum disease of minor to advanced severity, and it is not uncommon for the disease to remain hidden from the patient until it advances. How can this be?

The changes can be so miniscule from day to day that the symptoms of gingivitis are not always observed by patients who see their smiles daily in the mirror. It’s important to keep your regularly scheduled teeth cleanings and dental check-ups. That way we can identify the disease if you do not observe the symptoms, and we can routinely eliminate the plaque and calculus that build up on your teeth and between the teeth and gum tissue.

The common symptoms are:

  • Red, puffy, and/or sensitive gums
  • Bleeding when you brush and floss your teeth
  • Receding gums
  • Separation of the gum tissue from the teeth
  • An abscess on the gums
  • Loose teeth
  • A change in your bite (the way your teeth fit together
  • Changes in the fit of partial dentures

Periodontal Disease Treatment

Left untreated, gingivitis commonly advances into more severe infection below the gum line. This stage of the inflammation is called “periodontitis.” Unchecked periodontitis destroys gum tissue and jawbone tissue. Teeth become loose. Pockets of infection against your tooth roots also do damage to your teeth. Advanced gum disease is the cause of most tooth loss. Resorption of jawbone tissue continues after tooth loss.

At Wisdom Dental, we will work diligently to maintain your oral health so this does not happen, but if you have suffered the ravages of periodontal disease and tooth loss, Dr. Wisdom Akpaka and Dr. Mariel Petruk can restore your smile. Once gum infection has been treated and harmful bacteria are under control, your bone tissue can be restored through bone grafting, your gum tissue can be restored with gum grafting, and dental implants can be used to replace the missing natural tooth roots. The dental implants will stimulate bone growth and halt future bone resorption. Your smile can then be beautifully restored with prosthetic teeth.

Extensive scientific evidence has made clear that gum disease affects your entire body. The mouth bacteria that cause gum disease circulate through your bloodstream to the organs of your body. The inflammation present in your mouth thus contributes to inflammation throughout your system. Heart disease and diabetes are just two of the systemic diseases made worse by gum disease. Our dentists can provide you with the advice and treatment you need to lower your risk of chronic periodontal disease and thus other inflammatory diseases of your whole body, including heart disease, stroke, diabetes, rheumatoid arthritis, metabolic disease, and more.

Treatment of periodontal disease depends on the severity of your infection. In the case of mild to moderate periodontal disease, we will focus on eliminating the bacterial infection with more frequent tooth cleanings in our office and instruction on the most appropriate oral home care. Dr. Wisdom or Dr. Petruk will recommend the frequency at which you should have professional teeth cleaning done by the dental hygienist.

Sometimes a deep scaling is needed to remove the bacterial plaque and hardened calculus (tartar) that builds up between your teeth and near the gum line. Where periodontal disease is advanced and the jawbone has become compromised, more intensive cleaning may be recommended and loose teeth that cannot be saved will be removed. Our dentists and hygienists can provide deep scaling (also known as scaling and root planing) in addition to regular teeth cleaning known as “dental prophylaxis” or a “prophy” for short.

Welcome to Wisdom Dental for All Your Dental Needs

At Wisdom Dental in Coral Springs, we will be delighted to get to know you and provide you with the fine oral health care you deserve, including regular teeth cleaning, dental checkups, periodontal, and restorative care. Contact us today!