What is Periodontics?
Periodontics is a dental specialty focusing exclusively on the chronic inflammatory disease that destroys the gums and other supporting structures around the teeth. The main goals of periodontics are to restore diseased gum tissue, improve the appearance and function of your smile, and assist in maintaining good oral health. However, the condition can be easily prevented in most cases by regularly visiting us at Eureka Dental Group every six months for a professional cleaning.
Periodontal Disease Symptoms
Although periodontal disease is generally a silent infection, meaning that the warning signs may not present themselves until it’s far advanced, certain symptoms are commonly experienced:
- Bleeding while brushing or flossing
- Tender, swollen, and red gums
- Receding gums
- Loose teeth
- Separating teeth
- Pain in the mouth
- Sores in the mouth
- Bad breath
- Change in the bite
- Pockets of pus between the gums and teeth
If you experience any of the listed symptoms, it’s crucial that you schedule an appointment with our periodontists as soon as possible. If your case is relatively mild, we will be able to assist you in reversing the condition, or if it is more severe, we can help manage it.
Types of Gum Disease
Gum disease is categorized into four stages based upon the severity of symptoms. They include:
Gingivitis occurs as a result of plaque buildup around the teeth, and is commonly seen in those who have not visited the dentist for a professional cleaning in over a year. Since bleeding gums are typically the first symptom experienced, gingivitis does not attack the bones and is the easiest stage to reverse for that reason. Maintaining good oral hygiene by brushing and flossing, as well as scheduling routine dental exams and cleanings, are the best methods to treat and prevent. Most symptoms of gingivitis are painless, which is what makes periodontal disease so common.
2. Slight Periodontal Disease
Although the second stage of gum disease, slight periodontal disease, cannot be reversed, it can be managed. The bacteria causing the infection have become more aggressive in the second stage, leading to bone loss in the areas surrounding the gums and teeth. Certain procedures such as scaling and root planing may be performed to deeply clean the pockets beneath the gums.
3. Moderate Periodontal Disease
The third stage of periodontal disease is characterized by the deeper probing of bacteria, resulting in more significant bone loss. Thorough, detailed cleaning is recommended to keep the infection from spreading.
4. Advanced Periodontal Disease
The infection has evolved into a disease by the fourth stage. Redness, swollen gums with pockets of pus, loosening of teeth, sensitivity, severe bad breath, bone loss, and painful chewing are all experienced by those with advanced periodontal disease. Treatment is imperative at this point; if left untreated, gaps or spacing between the teeth grow, gums recede, dentures may be required, and other serious health problems can occur.
Periodontal Cleaning vs Regular Cleaning
When you visit us for a regular cleaning, you receive preventive dental care. Your dentist will check for cavities, signs of cancer, and other issues, then the dental hygienist will thoroughly clean your teeth. Plaque, tartar, and bacteria will be removed using specialized tools. After the removal process, we will floss then polish your teeth using an electric toothbrush and toothpaste. It’s recommended that you have regular dental cleanings every six months.
Periodontal cleanings are performed to manage existing issues in regards to your oral health. Your teeth will be cleaned in a similar fashion to that of a regular dental visit, plus a few extra measures. When you visit us for a periodontal cleaning, we will assess your gums for cases of recession, check to see if any of your teeth are loose, and analyze how your teeth come into contact with each other while biting.
We will then further evaluate your gums by placing a small measuring instrument, called a probe, in the spaces between your gums and teeth to determine the depth. You will most likely need to visit the periodontist every three or four months for cleaning and evaluation, depending on the severity of your case.
Receive Periodontal Treatment in Eureka Today
At Eureka Dental Group, it’s our goal to ensure every patient is confident with their smile. Our staff is dedicated to providing the highest quality of care to every patient that enters our Eureka dental office. Whether you are visiting us for preventive periodontal measures or to receive treatment for your gum disease, you can rest easy knowing that you are in good hands. Contact us today to schedule an appointment!