Gum disease, or periodontitis, is caused by rampant bacterial growth around the teeth and gum line. If left untreated, periodontitis will cause your gums to become inflamed and irritated, eventually leading to tooth decay and destruction of tissue and bone around the teeth. According to the Center for Disease Control, half of American adults have some form of periodontal disease, and the American Academy of Periodontology recommends yearly periodontal evaluations to prevent and treat the disease. With advanced training in periodontics, our dental team provides comprehensive Houston gum disease treatment. Our goal is to help patients maintain healthy gums and teeth for a lifetime of beautiful smiles.
The Three Stages of Gum Disease
Gingivitis – The first stage of gum disease is the most common, and it is fully reversible with proper oral hygiene and professional treatment. Gingivitis is characterized by red, swollen gums that bleed easily, a receding gum line, and bad breath. As long as you maintain good oral hygiene at home, gingivitis can be treated with regular professional cleanings to prevent plaque and tartar build-up.
Periodontitis – The second stage of gum disease is characterized by damage to the soft tissue surrounding the teeth, as well as the tooth’s roots. Gums are swollen and tender to the touch, spaces develop between the teeth, and infection is common. In addition to professional cleanings, periodontitis is treated with scaling to remove tartar and bacteria from the surface of the teeth and beneath the gums. Root planing will clean the root surfaces to rid the build-up of tartar and bacteria. Antimicrobial wash and a localized antibiotic, like Arestin, will help eliminate infection-causing bacteria. Maintenance cleanings are scheduled up to four times per year to keep disease from returning.
Advanced Periodontitis – This is the most severe stage of gum disease, characterized by significant loss of healthy soft tissue and bone that support the teeth. Advanced periodontitis is treated with all of the methods mentioned above, as well as laser assisted gum therapy, which uses a precision laser to kill 99% of the harmful bacteria in the periodontal pockets. Some patients lose teeth in this stage or may need to consider extraction to rebuild oral health.
Visit Our Houston Periodontist
Gum disease is a progressive disease that is best treated early. The first line of defense is proper oral hygiene, followed by regularly scheduled cleanings and periodontal evaluations. If you are experiencing red, swollen gums that bleed when you brush your teeth, don’t wait to schedule an appointment. Our team offers Houston gum disease treatment for every stage of periodontal disease. Give us a call today to schedule a consultation. We want to see you smile your healthiest smile.