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Gum disease, also known as periodontitis, is a serious infection of the gums and bone. It’s caused by bacteria that have been allowed to accumulate on your teeth and gums. As periodontitis progresses, your bones and teeth can be damaged. The good news is that if periodontitis is treated early and proper oral hygiene is maintained, the damage can be stopped. Think you need periodontal treatment? It’s important you see an MCDC dentist ASAP.
Periodontitis begins with inflammation of the gums, also known as gingivitis. One of the first signs of gingivitis is that your gums bleed when you brush or floss your teeth. Additional symptoms depend on the stage of periodontal disease, but generally include:
Symptoms in the early stages of periodontitis are often not very noticeable. Your MCDC dentist will likely be the first person to point them out.
Gum disease should be treated as soon as possible because it’s linked to increased risk factors for conditions like:
Here is how periodontal disease is diagnosed by your MCDC dentist.
Periodontitis can be stopped if caught and treated early. Treatment is typically very successful and may be performed by your MCDC dentist or a dental hygienist. The goal of periodontitis treatment is to thoroughly clean the pockets around teeth and prevent damage to the surrounding bone.
Note that it is common for your teeth and gums to feel tender for a few days following a scaling and root planing procedure. That being said, immediately contact your MCDC location if you experience the following:
After a non-surgical periodontal treatment, your MCDC dentist will schedule a follow up with you in a few weeks, and then about every three to six months after that to assess your progress. If the periodontal pockets are not shrinking, they may recommend surgical treatment to prevent tooth and bone loss. At that point, your MCDC dentist may refer you to a
periodontist, which is a dentist who specializes in treating gum disease.
If surgery is necessary to treat periodontitis, there are several options. Your MCDC dentist or your periodontist will make a recommendation based on your circumstances.
Before scheduling for surgical periodontal treatment, your MCDC dentist will go over the following with you:
If gum disease is addressed before it becomes severe, scaling and root planing may be the only treatment you need. However, as with any dental procedure, after care is vital. To keep your teeth in good shape and avoid gum disease in the future, you must:
Even after a successful scaling and root planing, without proper oral hygiene, it’s likely you’ll develop gum disease again.