Like most of us, you have probably been warned by your dentist about the dangers of gingivitis and maybe even its “evil twin”, periodontitis. Scientists didn’t start studying this condition until the 1700’s, but we know that it has been around for much longer. How do we know? It clearly destroys your healthy teeth. Since periodontal research has continued, ancient mummified Egyptians have been discovered showing signs of periodontal disease in their pearly whites (really, pearly yellows might be more accurate). Your dentist in Fort Smith is here to help you recognize the signs of early periodontal disease and help you try to reverse its effects.
The inflammation of the soft tissues in your gums that surround your teeth and jaw bone is called gum disease. Dentists recognize the advanced stages of infection as periodontal disease or periodontitis. There are different types of periodontal disease including aggressive periodontitis, chronic periodontitis, necrotizing periodontitis, and periodontitis caused by a systematic disease. Depending on the severity and type of periodontal disease that you are experiencing, Dr. Lopez can perform different gum disease treatments:
- Scaling and Root Planing—For mild periodontitis cases. Your dentist will thoroughly clean your mouth to remove hardened plaque (tartar) along with other bacteria buildup. The pockets of the gums where bacteria were being stored are also cleaned and treated with antibiotics to kill off dangerous bacteria.
- Tissue Regeneration—A grafting procedure for severe cases of periodontitis can be performed in cases that the gum disease has attacked and destroyed vital tissues. This will jumpstart the regrowth process.
- Pocket Elimination Surgery—Dramatically reduces the sizes of the pockets between the teeth and gums to remove harmful bacteria.
- Dental Implants—Effective tooth replacements can be placed within the jawbone when several teeth have fallen out due to gum disease. This restores aesthetics and functionality of your smile.
Recognizing and Diagnosing Periodontitis
New Smile Dental works hard to catch any signs of gum disease in Fort Smith early! With early detection and preventive treatments, you can hopefully avoid this pesky disease. If you notice any signs of gingivitis at home, visit Dr. Lopez as soon as possible! This could be the difference between keeping your natural teeth and having to reconstruct your smile with prosthetics. Symptoms include:
- Bleeding gums during and after brushing your teeth.
- Red, tender, or swollen gums.
- Chronic bad breath or bad taste in your mouth.
- Receding gums.
- Formation of deep pockets between your teeth and gums.
- Loose or shifting teeth in your smile.
- Changes in your bite.
When you visit our New Smile Dental office, Dr. Lopez will look out for gum disease by meticulously checking your mouth for signs and symptoms. He will measure your gums for periodontal pockets or loose teeth. Your jawbone will also start showing signs of deterioration. Your dentist will work with you to develop the best periodontal treatment plan to reattach healthy gums to your teeth, reduce swelling, and stop the progression of the disease. If you are suffering from painful, bleeding gums, realize that’s not normal or healthy! Call our office today to set up an appointment and get your oral health back on track.