Periodontal Therapy

Periodontal disease is one of the biggest threats to your oral health. This condition is very common, and in its most advanced stages, it is very destructive. Advanced gum disease is the number one cause of tooth loss in adulthood. This is due to the fact that gum disease attacks the structures that support teeth, gums, and bone.

 

When our team detects signs of periodontal (gum) disease, it is important that patients act quickly when it comes to receiving treatment. Meyerland Complete Dental Care offers periodontal therapy to improve gum health and eradicate the infection associated with gum disease.

Causes of Gum Disease

stages-of-periodontal-diseaseCauses of and contributors to periodontal disease include inadequate oral hygiene, hormonal fluctuations, certain medications, and particular health conditions. The primary cause of gum disease is the accumulation of tartar, which is hardened plaque left behind by inadequate brushing or flossing. Tartar is an irritating substance and as it accumulates along the gums and in between teeth, it causes the gums to recede from teeth, exposing more of the roots of teeth to debris and bacteria.

Medications and health conditions contribute to periodontal disease, too. For example, medications that have a drying effect on the mouth can increase the likelihood of gingival irritation, which in turn, increases the risk for gum disease. Conditions that impair immunity or affect moisture in the mouth such as diabetes can increase a person’s risk for gum disease. Lastly, hormonal fluctuations like those seen in menopause or puberty can contribute to periodontal disease by increasing blood flow to the gums, making them much more sensitive.

Diagnosing and Treating Periodontal Disease

Diagnosing periodontal disease occurs during normal oral examinations. During checkups, our dentist will look for signs of gingival irritation and inflammation. This is done by physically examining the gingiva and by looking for the development of periodontal pockets. These pockets form when tartar accumulates in areas where the gums have receded. Periodontal disease can be staged by measuring the size of periodontal pockets.

 

Once a patient’s gum health is assessed and signs of periodontal disease are found, our dentist will develop a treatment plan for periodontal therapy. Treatment options including specialized prophylaxis like scaling and root planing. Scaling and root planing involve accessing the innermost areas of the gingiva to clean away diseased tissue, remove pathogens, and scrape tartar from the roots of teeth. The roots of teeth are then smoothed with a handheld filing instrument to discourage the attachment of new tartar on the roots.

 

In addition to scaling and root planing, antimicrobial mouth rinses and antibiotics might be useful in controlling the infection. For those with very severe or complex cases of periodontal disease, we might refer patients to a specialist.

 

Call Meyerland Complete Dental Care today to reserve a checkup or cleaning.

What is periodontal disease?

Periodontal disease is a condition where the gingiva is inflamed and infected. Periodontal disease can lead to the destruction of vital oral tissue if left untreated. Treating periodontal disease as soon as possible is important for improving one’s chances of reversing his or her condition. When the periodontal disease progresses past a certain point, the condition is only manageable – not curable.

What causes gum disease?

The leading cause of gum disease is tartar accumulation. When we practice oral hygiene, any plaque that is left behind after brushing and flossing will harden once exposed to calculus. If people do not practice proper oral hygiene and/or skip routine dental cleanings, they have a greatly increased risk of developing periodontal disease.

The reason tartar is problematic is the fact that this substance accumulates at the gum line. Since tartar is full of bacteria, it is very irritating to the gums. In fact, the gingiva will recede from teeth as an inflammatory response to irritation. Unfortunately, gum recession makes the periodontal disease worse. This is because a receding gum line creates a new surface area for tartar to cling. As tartar builds up and as the gums recede further, more of the tooth’s root is exposed to oral bacteria and debris.

Beyond inadequate oral hygiene and tartar accumulation contributing to gum disease, there are other factors that might increase one’s risk of developing this condition. Hormonal fluctuations such as those that occur during pregnancy or menopause can increase the risk for gum disease because hormones affect blood flow to all soft tissue, including the gums. When the gums’ blood flow is increased, they are more easily irritated. This is why pregnant women and others undergoing hormonal changes should practice vigilant oral hygiene.

How can I prevent periodontal disease?

Preventing periodontal disease should begin with a two-step approach – daily oral care at home and routine visits to the dentist. First, it is important to understand that brushing and flossing help reduce the accumulation of tartar by removing plaque from the surfaces of teeth and the gums. Removing plaque before it hardens into tartar is essential to keeping teeth and gums healthy. Flossing should never be overlooked as this oral hygiene practice cleans where a toothbrush cannot reach.

Beyond daily oral hygiene, patients should commit to receiving routine checkups and cleanings. Visiting our practice frequently increases the odds of early detection. The sooner gum disease is detected, the better a patient’s prognosis. Even if a person’s oral hygiene routine is thorough, dental cleanings are still necessary. This is because tartar cannot be removed by brushing and flossing. It is removed with handheld dental instruments that gently scrape it away without scratching the enamel surface of teeth. Regular dental cleanings control tartar buildup and therefore help prevent periodontal disease.

MEET THE DOCTORS

Dr. Pedro Trejo

Dr. Trejo has certificates in Prosthodontics and Periodontics, as well as extensive experience in both clinical and instructional implant, surgical, and restorative dentistry.

Dr. Andrew Rossi

Dr. Rossi is a native Houstonian, who is enthusiastic about his work. He obtained his Masters degree in Periodontics from the University of Texas at Houston.

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FEATURED DENTAL SERVICES

at Meyerland Complete Dental Care

General Dentistry

Our team at Meyerland Complete Dental Care is proud to offer residents of our community comprehensive general dentistry. Our full-service dental practice provides services like cleanings and checkups, preventive care, and oral health education.

LEARN MORE ABOUT GENERAL DENTISTRY ›

Implant Dentistry

Losing teeth is difficult but finding the right tooth replacement method that meets your needs doesn’t have to be. Implant dentistry is a unique approach to replacing lost teeth and because dental implants are unlike other prosthetics, they provide numerous advantages to improving one’s oral function and quality of life.

LEARN MORE ABOUT IMPLANT DENTISTRY ›

Periodontal Therapy

When our team detects signs of periodontal (gum) disease, it is important that patients act quickly when it comes to receiving treatment. Meyerland Complete Dental Care offers periodontal therapy to improve gum health and eradicate the infection associated with gum disease.

LEARN MORE ABOUT PERIODONTAL THERAPY ›