Posts for tag: Periodontal Disease
After several treatment sessions your periodontal (gum) disease is under control. But, while we may have won this battle, the war rages on. To keep an infection from re-occurring we'll have to remain on guard.
Gum disease begins and thrives on a thin film of bacteria and food particles on tooth surfaces called plaque. The infection usually begins as gingivitis, which causes the gums to become red and swollen (inflamed). Untreated it can develop into periodontitis, a more advanced form that progresses deeper into the gum tissues resulting in bone loss.
To treat the disease, we must remove all the plaque and calculus (hardened plaque deposits) we can find no matter how deeply they've penetrated below the gum line. Since the deeper it extends the more likely surgical techniques may be necessary to consider, it's better to catch the disease in its earliest stages when plaque can be removed with hand instruments or ultrasonic equipment.
The appropriate treatment technique can effectively stop and even reverse gum disease's effects — but it won't change your susceptibility. Constant vigilance is the best way to significantly reduce your risk of another episode. In this case, our prevention goal is the same as in treatment: remove plaque.
It begins with you learning and applying effective brushing and flossing techniques, and being consistent with these habits every day. As your dentist, we play a role too: we may need to see you as often as every few weeks or quarter to perform meticulous cleaning above and below the gum line. We may also perform procedures on your gums to make it easier to maintain them and your teeth, including correcting root surface irregularities that can accumulate plaque.
Our aim is to reduce the chances of another infection as much as possible. "Fighting the good fight" calls for attention, diligence and effort — but the reward is continuing good health for your teeth and gums.
If you would like more information on continuing dental care after gum disease, please contact us or schedule an appointment for a consultation. You can also learn more about this topic by reading the Dear Doctor magazine article “Periodontal Cleanings.”
How your dentist in Reno, NV, can help with periodontal disease
If you have periodontal disease, you may not always know it. That’s because periodontal disease is sneaky. You may notice just a little bit of bleeding when you brush and think that it’s normal. The truth is, bleeding is an early sign of disease, and there are other signs and symptoms for you to pay attention to. Fortunately, your dentist, Dr. Melinda M. Kuhn of Kuhn Family Dentistry in Reno, NV, can help you prevent periodontal disease by providing reliable oral care—read on to learn more.
The basics on periodontal disease
Typically, you will develop gum disease before the condition evolves into full-blown periodontal disease. Fortunately, at this stage, you can reverse the condition by following an excellent oral hygiene program of daily brushing and flossing. You also need to visit your dentist and dental hygienist regularly for a dental exam, X-ray screening, and a professional dental cleaning.
You can tell you have gum disease if you experience any of these signs and symptoms:
- Red, irritated, swollen gums
- Bleeding when you brush or floss
- Chronic bad breath or a sour taste in your mouth
- Pain in your gums when you brush, floss, or eat
If your gum disease goes untreated, it can begin to infect the bone that supports your teeth. You will start to lose bone as periodontal disease becomes worse. Once you have periodontal disease, it cannot be cured—it can only be managed to keep it from getting worse. That’s why it’s critical to seek out treatment as soon as possible.
Periodontal disease has all the signs and symptoms of gum disease, plus several more. When you have periodontal disease, you may notice:
- Your gums are receding, exposing more of your tooth roots
- Tooth sensitivity because of the exposed roots
- Gaps or spaces forming between your teeth
- Your teeth begin to feel loose or are moving
- Your bite feels different
- Blood or pus coming from your gums
If you think you might have periodontal disease, you need to visit your dentist as soon as you can. Your dentist will take an x-ray screening to determine if you have lost bone around your teeth, and evaluate the health of your gums. Your dentist may recommend supportive periodontal therapy visits every 3 to 4 months to help stabilize your gums and bone.
Concerned? Give us a call
Don’t wait for periodontal disease to get worse. Seek out the help of your dentist. To learn more about periodontal disease causes, signs, symptoms, and treatment, call Dr. Melinda M. Kuhn of Kuhn Family Dentistry in Reno, NV, today by dialing (775) 829-9331.