Gum disease, also known as periodontal disease or periodontitis, occurs when bacteria penetrates into the gum tissue, causing a range of unpleasant and eventually debilitating symptoms.
Periodontal disease is an extremely common condition, estimated to affect as many as 64 million Americans at any one time. It is also progressive, and can gradually progress to a severe infection that has the capability to spread beyond the gums to the rest of your body, where it can cause a variety of chronic health problems.
Periodontal disease is almost always painless, leaving the victim completely unaware of the problem. Oftentimes, gums will bleed when flossing, however periodontitis is usually diagnosed by a qualified dentist.
Fortunately, there are a range of different therapies that can treat periodontal disease. Our experienced team of dental professionals at Jupiter Dentistry can help diagnose and stop the spread of gum disease.
What is periodontal disease?
Periodontal disease develops as a result of sticky, bacteria-filled plaque, which accumulates along the gum line and eventually penetrates underneath, causing irritation and swelling that usually is painless. The bacteria can also become trapped in the miniscule gaps between your teeth, where only professional tools can access to clear them.
In its mildest stage, gum disease is most commonly referred to as gingivitis, and the symptoms are hardly noticeable and easy to ignore. However, as the disease progresses, the infection becomes more serious, causing a host of other unpleasant symptoms. Bad breath is a common symptom although commonly ignored even by family members.
As the bacteria becomes trapped in teh crevices around the gums, the gum separates from teh teeth and "pockets" develop where there are large gaps between the teeth and gums. These pockets become deep crevices where extremely high quantities of bacteria and toxins live and fester under the gums, gradually eating away supporting jawbone. This progressive disease usually goes on without warning, making routine dental exams critical to long term overall health.
Eventually, when left untreated, periodontal disease can cause the deterioration of the jaw bone supporting the teeth, tooth loss, and the spread of infection into other parts of your body, including your major organs.
Over time, patients gradually lose a number of teeth and in many cases, a patient may lose all o f their teeth.
Patients who have been diagnosed with advanced periodontal disease are also at increased risk of developing terminal medical conditions including:
Chronic Obstructive Pulmonary Disorder (COPD)
If you have been diagnosed with gum disease, your next course of action is undoubtedly to find out what your treatment options. At Jupiter Dentistry, we are pleased to be able to offer a variety of different periodontal therapies and will make a recommendation for your condition at your consultation appointment.
Non-surgical periodontal treatments
Some of the non-surgical treatments that we can offer include:
Appointments with our experienced and knowledgeable hygienist, who will perform regularly scheduled cleanings to assess the health of your gums.
Non-surgical treatment for periodontal disease also known as scaling and root planing - an extremely deep clean with the goal of removing all bacteria from below the gums. Our skilled hygienist will meticulously remove all tartar that has accumulated below the gum line, eliminating all harmful bacteria and toxins. Root surfaces will be left completely smooth allowing the gums to reattach to the root surfaces thereby shrinking the pockets or crevices between the teeth and gums. The hygienist will rub an anesthetic gel around your gums, so you won't feel any discomfort at all and usually won't require anesthetic injections.
The cleaned out pockets are then irrigated or rinsed out with an antibacterial solution that kills all harmful bacteria. Small antibiotic pellets will be placed in the deeper pockets to continuously kill any new bacteria that attempt to grow. These antibiotic pellets dissolve over several weeks, allowing your gum tissues to properly heal. Prescription medications including (antibiotics) antibacterial rinses are used for several weeks which will help treat the infection by killing off gum disease-causing bacteria.
Surgical treatments for periodontal disease
If your periodontal disease has spread beyond the earliest stages, more invasive treatment may be necessary to eliminate the infection and preserve as much of your natural teeth as possible. Some of the surgeries that may be recommended to you could include:
Biolase® Waterlase. This procedure involves using a stream of water to manipulate gum and bone tissues in a virtually painless technique, causing less trauma and less swelling, for a comfortable and gentle experience. The WaterLase MD laser uses a specific wavelength that targets and destroys diseased tissue and bacteria from periodontal pockets.
Crown lengthening. This involves cutting away some of the gum tissue at the base of the tooth, exposing more of the enamel. This also has the added benefit of improving a smile that appears to be ‘gummy’.
- Bone grafts. These may be necessary if your periodontal disease is so advanced that the density of your jaw bone has been compromised. Bone is a living entity and grafting new bone on to your jaw can reinforce the structure, and make it easier for it to accept restorations such as dental implants.
Periodontal Pocket reduction surgery. Periodontal pockets are the gaps that form between the teeth and gums, where a great deal of bacteria collect. Periodontal pockets that are full of bacteria are more likely to cause irritation and infection seen in patients with periodontal disease. Periodontal pockets can only be cleaned using professional tools.
Soft tissue graft. If the gums are recessed, the teeth may seem longer, and the tooth’s root might become exposed to bacteria and decay. Soft tissue grafts can be used to restore a more natural-looking gum line.
Drs. Jay Ajmo and Joseph Russo at Jupiter Dentistry are experienced, board certified dentists, who can help you find the right treatment for your periodontal condition. If you have any further questions about periodontal disease or the treatments offered at Jupiter Dentistry, call us today at 561-575-5599.
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We can help you find relief. It’s not worth it to live life in pain, not when a solution is so accessible and affordable. Remember, your health and wellbeing are the number one priority. It’s time to live life in comfort.
Contact us to schedule your consultation with the team at Jupiter Dentistry. We will take care of you by giving you the medical attention you need in state-of-the-art facilities that are built around you. Benefit from top-of-the-line care without having to worry about your budget. Contact our staff in Jupiter, FL by emailing or calling us at 5612500995.