Periodontal disease: An overview

Millions of Americans are affected by periodontal disease in some form, and as the condition advances, its consequences become much more serious. Periodontists in DFW can provide treatment for this condition to thwart many of its adverse effects.

Periodontal disease occurs when bacteria collect along the gumline and cause inflammation in the gum tissue. These bacteria are found in plaque, which is why it’s important to brush and floss regularly to keep plaque at bay.

Patients who have the mildest form of gum disease, gingivitis, may not need to visit a periodontist. A thorough professional cleaning is typically sufficient to address the damage.

It becomes necessary to schedule an appointment with the periodontist when the disease becomes more advanced. When left untreated, gingivitis evolves into periodontitis, causing pockets to develop in the gums. These pockets become a haven for bacteria, encouraging more inflammation.

Scaling and root planing is a common treatment for periodontal disease. Using this technique, the periodontist removes tartar above the gumline as well as below (scaling) and eliminates rough areas on the tooth that can be a collection point for bacteria (root planing).

In more advanced cases, a surgical intervention is necessary. If scaling and root planing do not achieve the desired results, the periodontist may turn to flap surgery, in which a flap is cut from the gums to allow the periodontist to remove deep tartar deposits and reduce the size of pockets in the gums.

Certain groups of people may be at increased risk for periodontal disease, including smokers, pregnant women, diabetics and people who take medications that decrease saliva production as a side effect. People are also more likely to develop periodontal disease as they get older.

Periodontal disease not only has an impact on the gums, but it can cause the loss of tooth and bone, as well. Furthermore, research has connected the same proteins that are to blame for periodontal disease to other systemic conditions, such as heart disease and diabetes.

Periodontal disease should be addressed as early as possible. If you’ve noticed any unusual symptoms with your gums, such as bleeding, excessive tenderness or receding gums, visit one of the best periodontists in DFW for treatment to halt the progress of periodontal disease.