Periodontal Disease Treatments in Houston, Texas
What Is Periodontal Disease?
Periodontal disease is an infection that attacks the gums and the bone that supports the teeth when plaque is not removed. Many people have the early stages of periodontal disease and don’t know it. Some symptoms include bleeding gums, new spacing between teeth, receding gums and persistent bad breath.
Periodontal disease is diagnosed by your dentist during a periodontal examination, which is a part of your regular checkup. A periodontal probe is gently used to measure the space between the tooth and the gums. We will use pocket depths, amount of bleeding, inflammation and tooth mobility to make a diagnosis.
Gingivitis is the first stage of periodontal disease. Plaque and its toxin by-products irritate the gums, making them tender, inflamed and likely to bleed.
As calculus builds up, the gums recede from the teeth. Deep pockets form between the gums and teeth, which fill with bacteria and pus. Slight bone loss may be present.
The teeth lose more support as the gums, bone and periodontal ligament are destroyed. Unless treated, the affected teeth may be lost. Moderate to severe bone loss may be present.
Periodontal treatment methods depend upon the type and severity of the disease. If caught in the early stages, one to two regular cleanings will be recommended. If the disease has progressed to more advanced stages, a special periodontal cleaning called scaling and root planing will be recommended. This procedure helps gum tissue to heal and pockets to shrink.
It only takes 24 hours for plaque to turn into tartar. Daily home cleaning helps control plaque, but hard-to-reach areas will always need special attention. Once your treatment is complete, regular maintenance cleanings are generally recommended four times a year. At these cleaning appointments, the pocket depths will be carefully checked to ensure that they are healthy.