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Set Your Health & Smile Up For Success
Periodontal Disease (also known as gum disease or pyorrhea) is an infection of the gum and bone that hold teeth in place. It is often painless and you may not be aware that you have a problem until your gums and the supporting bone are seriously damaged. The good news is that periodontal diseases often can be treated in the early stages with scaling and root planning.
During a checkup our dental team examines your gums for periodontal problems. An instrument called a periodontal probe is used to gently measure the depth of the spaces between your teeth and gums.
At the edge of the gum line, healthy gum tissue forms a very shallow, V-shaped groove (called the sulcus) between the tooth and gums. The normal sulcus depth should be 3 millimeters or less. With periodontal disease, the sulcus develops into a deeper pocket that collects more plaque bacteria and is difficult to keep clean.
If gum disease is diagnosed our dental team may provide treatment or you may be referred to a periodontist, a dentist who specializes in the diagnosis, prevention and treatment of periodontal disease. Treatment often depends on how far the condition has progressed and how well your body responds to therapy.
Prevention And Treatment Of Periodontal Disease
Prevention includes a good daily oral hygiene routine. Brushing twice a day with fluoride.toothpaste and cleaning between teeth once a day with floss or another interdental cleaner helps prevent plaque from forming. Regular dental checkups and cleanings are important.
Scaling and Root Planing is a method of treating periodontal disease when pockets are greater than 3 mm. Scaling is used to remove plaque and tarter beneath the gum line. A local anesthetic may be given to reduce discomfort. Using an instrument called a smaller scaler or an ultrasonic cleaner, the hygienist carefully removes plaque and tarter down to the bottom of each periodontal pocket. The tooth’s root surfaces are then smoothed or planed. An irrigation is then performed under the gum line to allow the gum tissue to heal. It also makes it more difficult for plaque to accumulate along the root surfaces.
Our dental team may recommend, prescribe and administer medications to help control infection and pain or to facilitate healing. At a follow-up appointment our dental team checks how the gums have healed and how the periodontal pockets have decreased. When pockets greater than 3 mm persist after treatment, additional measures may be needed.
You will be given instructions on how to care for your healing teeth and gums. Maintaining good oral hygiene and continued, sometimes lifelong, follow-up by our dental team are essential to help the prevention of a more serious condition or periodontal disease from recurring.
Frequently Asked Questions
Periodontal disease, often referred to as gum disease, is an infection of the tissues that support the teeth, including the gums, periodontal ligament, and bone. It starts with gingivitis (inflammation of the gums) and can progress to more severe stages if left untreated.
The symptoms of periodontal disease typically include red, swollen, or bleeding gums, persistent bad breath, receding gums, sensitive teeth, as well as changes in the way your teeth fit together when you bite. In advanced stages, you might notice pockets forming between your teeth and gums. If you’re concerned you may have gum disease contact a dentist at MaDental & Associates.
The treatment of periodontal disease at MaDental & Associates is based off of each individuals stage of disease. Mild cases can be managed through improved oral hygiene and professional cleanings. However, more advanced cases may require more invasive procedures like scaling and root planing (deep cleaning), antibiotics, or even surgical procedures.
Yes. Gum disease has been linked to health issues such as heart disease, diabetes, respiratory infections, and complications during pregnancy. Treating gum disease will benefit overall health and well-being.
Yes, you can prevent gum disease with a good oral hygiene routine, routine dental cleanings, and a balanced diet.
Yes, it’s important to continue seeing your local Miami dentist regularly even if you have gum disease. The expert dentists at MaDental & Associates can monitor your oral health, provide cleanings, and work alongside periodontists to ensure proper treatment.
Yes, gum disease can return if you don’t maintain good oral hygiene and follow your dentist’s recommendations for ongoing care. Regular check-ups and cleanings are essential to prevent recurrence.