While we're sure you recognize the importance of maintaining the health of your teeth, it's also important to take care of your gum tissue. The gums play an important role in supporting both the health and appearance of your smile; just as the gums frame and accentuate the teeth, they also provide a protective barrier that prevents plaque and disease-causing bacteria from attacking the most vulnerable parts of the tooth structure.
At Chalet Dental in Yakima, WA, our periodontal therapy service is designed to protect your gums and supporting structures to ensure the optimal health of your entire smile. To learn more, read below!
What Is Periodontal Therapy?
Periodontal therapy is a type of dental care that focuses on the health and maintenance of the gums. This process focuses on the prevention, diagnosis, and treatment of conditions related to your periodontal health; most notably, this pertains to periodontal disease.
What Is Periodontal Disease?
When the gum tissue is compromised, periodontal disease can occur. Periodontal disease is an infection of the gums that leads to the deterioration of gum tissue and bone, which can cause teeth to lose their support and fall out.
- The disease begins as plaque and tartar accumulate along the gum line.
- This causes the gum tissue to become irritated and inflamed.
- The gum tissue will begin to pull away from the tooth to escape the irritation and form what is known as a periodontal pocket.
- Periodontal pockets are spaces formed between the gum tissue and tooth roots. These pockets are breeding grounds for bacteria and infection, leading to further destruction if left untreated.
- As bacteria begin to accumulate within the pockets, the roots of the teeth and supporting structures become damaged, causing the teeth to become loose and eventually fall out.
To prevent this from occurring, our team takes a proactive approach to the disease and aims to prevent the development of the condition or reverse it in the earliest stages. By attending routine check-ups and staying informed on the signs and symptoms of periodontal disease, you can significantly reduce your risk of developing a serious form of the condition.
Stages & Symptoms
Periodontal disease occurs in three progressive stages, each of which has an increasingly severe set of signs and symptoms. Below, we have provided details and characteristics of each stage:
- Gingivitis: Gingivitis is the first stage of periodontal disease. It is characterized by swollen, red gums that may bleed when you brush or floss your teeth. At this stage, the disease is reversible and can be treated with proper oral hygiene and care.
- Periodontitis: Periodontitis is the second stage of periodontal disease. Common signs include red, swollen gums that are tender to the touch and may bleed easily. Additionally, you may experience receding gums, persistent bad breath, and bone loss. The only way to identify this condition is to attend an appointment where our providers will measure the pockets around your teeth. If these are found to be deeper than four mm, periodontitis may be confirmed. While periodontitis is not curable, it can be managed with proper care from our team.
- Advanced Periodontitis: Advanced periodontitis is the most severe form of the disease. Symptoms include deep pockets, pus accumulation, severely receded gums, loose teeth, and shifting teeth. At this stage, surgery or a more aggressive treatment plan may be recommended.
Scaling & Root Planing
At Chalet Dental, we provide scaling and root planing in order to preserve the health of your smile following a periodontal disease diagnosis. Also known as a deep cleaning, this treatment removes bacteria and tartar from the surface of teeth and below the gum line, allowing for the gums to reattach to the root of the tooth.
- During the scaling portion of the procedure, our team will use special instruments to remove plaque and tartar from the teeth and gum pockets.
- Root planing is then used to smooth the surfaces of any exposed roots, making it more difficult for bacteria and tartar to accumulate in the area again. This also helps the gums to reattach, thereby preserving the health of your teeth and reducing the risk of further damage or infection.
If you have been diagnosed with periodontal disease or are experiencing any signs and symptoms of the condition, please contact us at Chalet Dental to schedule an appointment. We are dedicated to helping you maintain and restore your oral health, so don’t hesitate to reach out and take the first steps toward a healthier smile.