Periodontal therapy involves treating diseased gingival tissue. Gum (periodontal) disease is a major concern for dentists since this condition can have permanent and devastating effects on health. Nearly 80% of the population will develop some form of gum disease, and since this condition is the chief culprit behind adult tooth loss, dental professionals take gum health very seriously. In addition to preventive care, our practice offers periodontal therapy to help preserve oral health and stop the advancement of gum disease.
An Overview of Gum Disease
Gum disease most often develops as a result of inadequate oral hygiene. Those who neglect their oral health will have plaque and tartar buildup. As plaque and tartar accumulate along the gum line, it will inflame the gingiva and ultimately cause infection. Responding to these irritants, the gums will pull back from teeth (recede) and expose more of the tooth to debris and bacteria. Without professional treatment and improved oral hygiene, the cycle of tartar buildup and gum recession continues until the structures that support teeth are destroyed.
Symptoms of Gum Disease
Gum disease begins as an almost unnoticeable condition. Many people may be unaware that their gum health is compromised until they receive a dental cleaning or checkup. This is because early stage periodontal disease can be asymptomatic. In some cases, however, patients do notice symptoms such as bleeding gums, discoloration of the gingiva, and recession of the gum line. Symptoms of advanced gum disease include sensitive gingiva, open sores, and the loosening of teeth.
Root Debridement Therapy
Root debridement therapy (RDT) is a type of periodontal treatment that addresses the accumulation of harmful bacteria deep within periodontal pockets and along the gingiva near the roots of teeth using ultra-sonic scalers. These dental instruments flush out toxins and pathogens from the gingiva. RDT helps preserve the cementum coating around the roots of teeth, too. Cementum is similar to tooth enamel as it protects roots from sensitivity and bacteria.
Scaling and Root Planing
Scaling and root planing (SRP) is another non-surgical form of treatment for gum disease. This treatment involves removing necrotized gingival tissue and tartar accumulation below the gum line. Root planing involves gently filing down the roots of teeth to create a smooth surface so that new tartar accumulation is less pronounced.
If you have symptoms of gum disease or if we have diagnosed you with periodontal disease, we encourage you to seek treatment at our practice. Our team utilizes state of the art methods and technology to help preserve your oral health and prevent periodontal disease from advancing.
To learn more about your treatment options, call our practice today.
Frequently Asked Questions
What is periodontal disease?
Periodontal (gum) disease is a very destructive condition that poses threats to your oral health and your overall wellness. Essentially, periodontal disease consists of the gingiva becoming inflamed and infected. The infection of the gums is caused by tartar buildup, which happens when oral hygiene is inadequate. Tartar is the hardened form of plaque and it forms along the gums. As this substance builds up, the gums will recede from teeth, exposing the roots of teeth and the innermost parts of the gingiva to harmful oral bacteria.
Advanced periodontal disease is the leading cause of adult tooth loss. This disease is capable of destroying the entire oral health system – especially when a patient goes without professional treatment. Periodontal disease attacks the structures that support teeth, the gums and bone. As these structures become diseased, teeth will become loose and eventually fall out or become badly infected.
What is RDT?
Root Debridement Therapy (RDT) is a specific type of prophylaxis (cleaning) that targets harmful pathogens deep within the gums as a means to stop the advancement of periodontal disease. This treatment protocol is important for removing tartar buildup below the gum line along with the pocket wall, and the surfaces of the roots of teeth. Since advanced gum disease creates deep periodontal pockets (between the roots of teeth and sulcus), RDT helps flush out bacteria-ridden substances like plaque and tartar using a medicated solution that washes out debris and irritants. The goals of RDT include pathogen and substance removal in addition to promoting the development of new periodontal tissue.
What are the symptoms of gum disease?
Early stage gum disease may or may not produce symptoms. As the condition progresses, however, there are noticeable symptoms that patients can see. Bleeding gums during oral hygiene is common. Other common symptoms include the exposure of the roots of teeth caused by receding gums; tender and swollen gum tissue; discoloration (red or purple) of the gingiva; and the loosening of teeth. Some patients with gum disease suffer with persistent bad breath.
What should I do about bleeding gums?
Healthy gingiva will not bleed during normal oral hygiene. If you notice blood in your saliva or on your dental floss or toothbrush, you should schedule a dental checkup as soon as possible. In the meantime, continue to floss and brush your teeth as normal, even if you notice blood. At your appointment, Dr. Christian will evaluate the health of your gums by performing a physical examination to determine if you have gum disease and its severity.