Periodontal Therapy For Indianapolis & Carmel
You may not think about your periodontal (gum) health all that often, but your gum tissue actually plays a crucial role in your oral and overall health -- especially as you age. People who have healthy teeth and gums are more likely to avoid tooth loss and a host of related problems as they age. However, gum disease is still a common threat for many adults. Fortunately, it can be treated when you partner with a dentist providing excellent periodontal therapy in Indianapolis, like the team at the Indy Dental Group. Keep reading to learn more about gum disease, periodontal therapy, and how we can help you smile beautifully for years and years to come.
What Is Gum Disease?
Gum disease is a chronic inflammatory condition affecting the periodontal (gum) tissue that supports your teeth. It is usually caused by insufficient oral hygiene, which allows for the plaque and bacteria buildup that causes infection. Smoking, dry mouth, and older age are other common risk factors of gum disease.
Gum disease is all too common in our country, with estimates saying that almost half of adults over the age of 35 experience this condition to some extent. Inflammatory conditions like gum disease can cause serious issues if left untreated, because the chronic inflammation eats away at healthy hard and soft tissues while also increasing the risk of developing other inflammatory diseases throughout the body. As a result, gum disease has been linked to tooth loss as well as heart disease, high blood pressure, stroke, diabetes, and a host of other health conditions.
How Do I Know If I Need Periodontal Therapy?
In the beginning stages, the warning signs of gum disease are easy to miss. Watch out for bleeding, tender, and sensitive gums, which can signal gingivitis, also known as early gum disease. As the condition progresses, chronic bad breath, tooth sensitivity, and visibly receding gums will be noticeable in addition to bleeding gums. In the very latest stages loose or shifting teeth may develop before tooth loss eventually occurs.
Do not hesitate to schedule an appointment with your dentist in Indianapolis at Indy Dental Group if you notice any of these symptoms, as prompt treatment of gum disease is vital for its successful treatment. When you schedule an appointment, we will examine your gums and teeth to check for periodontal pockets, which are the spaces between the teeth and gums that indicate the presence of infection. Once the pockets have passed a certain depth we will recommend periodontal treatment.
How Is Periodontal Disease Treated?
The periodontal treatment that is right for you will depend on the severity of your gum disease. In the beginning stages, when the pockets are just around 2 to 4 millimeters deep, gum disease is usually easily reversible. Your dentist may recommend a couple of extra visits to our office as well as improved dental hygiene habits at home. Removing plaque and bacteria can be enough to reverse the condition if it has not yet progressed.
Once the pocket depths reach 5 millimeters or beyond, however, improved dental hygiene alone will not be enough to reverse the infection. Bone and tissue loss will already have occurred, but getting prompt treatment can help you to avoid any serious complications. Scaling and root planing (SRP) is the primary method of treatment for moderate levels of gum disease. During this treatment, we will use special tools to clean around and just below the gum line, thoroughly removing all of the infected tissue while also cleaning the tooth’s root to prevent the repopulation of the bacteria that causes the infection to begin with. SRP is not associated with much discomfort, but we can provide local anesthesia and sedation as needed for your comfort. This treatment method will need to be repeated over the course of several appointments. It is also often combined with ATRIDOX® antibiotic therapy, when an antibiotic is applied directly to the treatment area to kill bacteria right where it lives.
If the gum disease has reached the most advanced levels, we may need to treat the infection surgically with flap surgery. We may also recommend a soft tissue procedure to replace the gum tissue that was lost as a result of gum tissue once the treatment is complete. Whatever approach is right for you, you can feel confident when you partner with the team of experts at Indy Dental Group.
How Can I Prevent Gum Disease?
Gum disease is easily preventable with excellent oral hygiene practices and regular visits to your dentist. Prevention of this condition is vital given the fact that healthy gums promote better overall health as you age. To keep your gums healthy and your smile complete, keep these gum disease prevention tips in mind:
- Brush your teeth for two minutes, at least twice a day or after each meal.
- Use an electric toothbrush for the most thorough clean.
- Always opt for oral hygiene products that contain fluoride.
- Floss gently between your teeth at least daily.
- Swish with an antimicrobial rinse for additional cleansing.
- Visit your dentist twice-annually (or more often if recommended).
- Maintain a balanced, nutritious, low-sugar diet.
- Stop smoking or do not develop a tobacco habit.
Follow these steps and you can feel great knowing you are doing your part to maintain excellent periodontal health!
Learn More About Periodontal Health Today!
Maintaining optimal periodontal health is crucial for enjoying a healthy, attractive, long-lasting smile as you age. If you are interested in discussing gum disease or if you know you need superior treatment for this chronic infection, you are invited to contact the office of Indy Dental Group for treatment for gum disease in Indianapolis. Go ahead -- we can’t wait to help you enjoy a happy, healthy smile for life!