About Periodontal Disease
As a progressive oral infection, periodontal (gum) disease damages the gum tissues and bone surrounding and supporting your teeth. It is the primary reason adults lose their natural teeth and can be harmful to your health, making it important to seek professional care. Several factors may contribute to periodontal disease, but the condition is generally the result of destructive bacteria that live within the plaque that builds on the teeth and gums. The skilled professionals at ACE Dental of Hewitt screen for gum disease on a routine basis and provide surgical and nonsurgical treatments to address all stages of the condition. To learn if gum disease is impacting your health and smile, please schedule an exam with one of our experienced Hewitt, TX general dentists today.
The Stages of Gum Disease
Periodontal disease is typically diagnosed in one of three general stages. Gingivitis is the earliest stage and is a result of bacterial plaque that accumulates at the gumline. Since it does not affect the jawbone, gingivitis is reversible if treatment is received at this point. When gingivitis is not treated, it may progress to periodontitis. In this phase, the periodontal fibers and bone surrounding the tooth roots start to deteriorate, which causes irreversible damage in the jaw. Advanced periodontitis is characterized by more severe bone loss and may result in loose teeth and ultimately tooth loss without treatment.
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Gum Disease Symptoms
Diagnosing and treating gum disease as early as possible is key to protecting your health. A number of individuals have gum disease unknowingly, which makes it imperative to keep routine dental exams. Some of the most common gum disease signs and symptoms are:
- Bleeding when brushing or flossing
- Red, tender, or swollen gum tissues
- Receding gums or tooth sensitivity
- Pus around the teeth
- A bad taste or bad breath
- Teeth that feel loose
Gum disease may also have an impact on systemic health, in addition to oral concerns. It has also been connected to several medical issues, some of which include heart problems, type 2 diabetes, memory issues, and pregnancy risks.
How Is Periodontal Disease Treated?
When you visit our Hewitt, TX practice for an exam, we will take digital x-rays to view your jawbone and measure the spaces between your teeth and gums (pockets). If we can see bone loss on your radiographs and you have periodontal pockets that are over three millimeters deep, our dentists will likely diagnose periodontal disease. Treatment for gum disease is personalized and recommended based on the extent of the condition. Gingivitis and periodontitis stages are often addressed with a nonsurgical form of care while advanced periodontitis may be best treated with a surgical approach. The caring, skilled team at ACE Dental of Hewitt will discuss any treatment recommendations and help you select the ideal form of care to protect your health and smile.
Maintaining Periodontal Health
Aftercare instructions will be provided according to the type of care you received. When your gum disease treatment is complete, our dentists will likely recommend a periodontal maintenance program to help prevent the condition from advancing. This type of program includes thorough dental cleanings every 3 – 4 months to keep bacterial buildup and plaque accumulation to a minimum. In addition to professional care at ACE Dental of Hewitt, it is highly recommended that you maintain good oral hygiene at home each day, including meticulous brushing and flossing habits.
Is Treatment Covered by Insurance?
Periodontal disease treatments may be covered in part under some dental insurance policies. Our business team can contact your provider and help maximize any coverage that you have. To help make any out-of-pocket costs more affordable, ACE Dental of Hewitt takes several convenient payment options. A member of our staff can also assist you in applying for special healthcare financing plans.
Frequently Asked Questions
Does my bad breath mean that I have periodontal disease?
While persistent bad breath may be a warning sign of gum disease, not all bad breath is related to periodontal disease. If you feel your bad breath is persistent, you should plan to discuss it with your provider as soon as is reasonably possible to ensure it is no cause for concern.
Can my periodontal disease be cured?
The early phase of periodontal disease, gingivitis, can be reversed. However, the later stages of the disease can only be slowed down. This is why early diagnosis and treatment are essential for patients with periodontal disease.
Is periodontal disease preventable?
There are many causes of periodontal disease, including genetics, oral hygiene, smoking, and certain medical conditions. But ideal oral hygiene, preventive care, regular dental exams, and cleanings can prevent the disease.
Protect Your Smile From Periodontal Disease
The earlier gum disease is identified and treated, the better your chances of protecting your health from tooth loss and other concerns. At ACE Dental of Hewitt, our experienced team routinely screens for and treats gingivitis, periodontitis, and advanced periodontitis and wants to help preserve the health of your smile. Get in touch with our Hewitt, TX team today to set up your periodontal evaluation and exam visit.
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