Periodontal disease starts as a gum infection that progressively worsens to become advanced gum disease. It’s estimated that about half of all adults age 30 and older are at risk for tooth loss because of advanced periodontal disease. The team at DentalHome, with offices in Duluth and Commerce, Georgia, have years of experience successfully treating periodontal disease. Schedule an appointment online or by phone today to protect your teeth from gum disease.
Periodontics is a branch of dentistry that focuses on the structures that support your teeth, which are your gums and jawbone. In addition to treating gum disease, periodontics also includes placing dental implants and cosmetic procedures to improve the appearance of your gums.
Periodontal disease, or gum disease, begins with an infection. If the infection isn’t treated, it spreads, potentially leading to serious gum and bone damage.
Bacteria that normally live in your mouth mix with mucus to form a colorless film of plaque that sticks to your teeth. If plaque isn’t thoroughly removed by routine tooth brushing, it hardens into dental tartar.
Tartar holds the bacteria against your teeth, where they produce acids that erode the enamel. Once your enamel is weakened, the bacteria can infect your gums.
There are two stages of gum disease. The first stage, gingivitis, occurs when bacteria infect your gums. When gingivitis goes untreated, it progresses to the next stage, periodontitis.
When you have periodontitis, the infection goes deeper into your gums, affecting structures such as ligaments and bones that support your teeth. If periodontitis goes untreated, it forms pockets around your teeth and erodes the bone. Ultimately, this infection leads to tooth loss.
As gum disease develops, you’ll experience:
You may be able to see pockets forming around the base of the teeth in the area of the infection.
After determining the extent of your gum disease, your dentist at DentalHome recommends one of the following treatments:
Scaling removes tartar, while planing eliminates rough areas on the tooth root where bacteria tend to stick.
After scaling and planing, bacteria-fighting medication may be applied to the area. You may also need a prescription mouth rinse containing medication to prevent plaque buildup.
If your gum disease is severe, your dentist at DentalHome may recommend surgery to eliminate infection deep under your gums or to repair pockets and receding gums. If you have significant bone erosion, you may also receive a bone graft.
If you have noticed bleeding when you brush or you have swollen gums, schedule an appointment at DentalHome online or by phone today.