Gum disease is not only common, but it is also dangerous to your overall health. While symptoms – swollen or tender gums, bleeding while brushing or flossing, bad breath, receding gums – may seem mild, the disease can progress quickly if it is not addressed.
Gingivitis is the first stage of gum disease and can lead to an advanced stage of periodontal disease if you do not know what signs to look out for or seek professional cleaning. If you’re looking for periodontal disease treatment in Rochester, you’re in the right place.
What Is Periodontal Disease?
Periodontal disease affects over 42% of adults over 30  and is the most advanced stage of gum disease. Periodontitis is an infection of the tissues that support your teeth and is caused by bacteria in plaque that spreads beneath your gum line.
The bacteria will break down the tissues and destroy the bone that holds your teeth in place. Periodontitis leaves pockets in your gums, and the root surfaces of your teeth become exposed.
Scaling and root planing is usually the first non-surgical treatment for periodontal disease. It is performed by a periodontal hygienist scraping the tartar build-up from your teeth and underneath or below the gum line, and then smoothing the tooth roots allowing your gums to reattach to your teeth and eliminate any pockets that can become infected.
What Happens If Gum Disease Is Left Untreated?
Gingivitis is the mildest form of gum disease and can be treated with regular dental hygiene. However, if left untreated, it progresses into an advanced stage of periodontal disease.
Plaque and tartar build-up is the first sign of advancing gum disease. Plaque – bacteria build-up on your teeth – that is not removed by brushing can harden and form tartar.
Unfortunately, tartar is not something you can brush away at home. It is done at the dental or periodontal office using special tools.
If the plaque developing on your teeth is not cleaned regularly, it can spread below your gum line, irritating your gums and causing a breakdown of the tissues supporting your teeth that form pockets, which can become infected.
Should this happen, you can have tooth loss, and bone loss in the jaw can also occur. If teeth are lost, a tooth replacement or dental implant may be recommended to avoid further problems caused by the disease.
How Does Periodontal Disease Impact Overall Health?
Periodontal disease is as much an oral health issue as it is a general health issue. Advanced gum disease is linked to heart attacks and strokes brought on by the severity of your infection. There is also a connection between periodontal disease and other conditions  such as:
- Cardiovascular and metabolic disease
- Adverse pregnancy outcomes
- Rheumatoid arthritis
- Respiratory diseases like COPD
- Chronic kidney disease
- Cancers of the mouth, esophagus, and other areas
- Impaired cognitive function
Periodontal Disease Treatment Options
If you have advanced-stage gum disease, you can find the right treatment for your periodontal disease in Rochester. Depending on the disease’s level of infection. your periodontist will recommend the best treatment option for you, either surgical or non-surgical.
Non-Surgical Periodontal Disease Treatment Options
Scaling & Root Planing
Scaling is a process that can be done at your general dentist’s office. This treatment removes plaque and tartar from your teeth and the pockets between your gums by scraping the plaque and tartar with a special tool.
Root planing (also called deep cleaning) is done after scaling. This process involves smoothing your tooth root to prevent plaque from adhering and help your gums reattach to your teeth.
The simplest way to treat gum disease is with a course of short-term antibiotics that include tetracycline hydrochloride, doxycycline, and minocycline. Because of their antibacterial properties, these medications help to reduce inflammation caused by the infection.
Surgical Periodontal Disease Treatment Options
Gum tissue grafts are the most common treatment for root exposure caused by periodontal disease.
The procedure involves using tissue from the roof of your mouth and under the flap to cover the exposed root. The graft is carefully attached to your gum tissue to lessen tooth root exposure. Doing this will help prevent further damage to the supporting bone around your tooth. This is an effective treatment for many people with advanced stages of periodontal disease.
While scaling and root planing treat mild gum disease cases, pocket depth reduction may be the right treatment option if you are in a more advanced stage.
The pocket depth reduction process begins by folding back your gum tissue to remove bacteria trapped between your gums and teeth that lead to inflammation and bone loss. This procedure can help save your teeth and gums and improve your overall health.
A periodontal bone graft will help replace bone that has been destroyed by periodontitis by adding volume and density to your jaw. The graft helps you regenerate new bone lost to gum disease.
Periodontal Disease Treatment In Rochester
Periodontal disease is more than an oral health issue. To protect your overall health, it’s important to catch gum disease early before it progresses. If that’s not possible, treatment options are available depending on your needs. Come see us at Dental Implants & Periodontal Health of Rochester so we can get you back to feeling and looking your best. Call us at 585-685-2005.