The periodontal tissues are the bone and gums that support the teeth in your jaw. Diseases that affect the gums are gingivitis and periodontal disease. These are serious conditions that can lead to the loss of teeth if they’re not treated. Doctors Deidra and James McLane of McLane Family Dental in Austin, TX want you to know about periodontal therapy.
How Does Disease Affect The Gums?
Gingivitis is the most common gum disease and manifests as:
Gums that bleed
Daily brushing and flossing combined with regular professional cleanings are usually enough to deal with gingivitis. Definitely call (512) 292-8002, so our doctors and hygienists at McLane Family Dental in Austin, TX can treat you before gingivitis turns into periodontal disease.
If gingivitis persists, it may develop into Periodontal Disease, a chronic inflammatory condition that causes irreversible damage to the gums and bone that support the teeth. While periodontal disease may progress without symptoms in its early phases, it can present with:
The presence of pus
Unpleasant taste and taste alterations
- Loss of supportive bone around the teeth
When the teeth aren’t brushed and flossed daily, plaque builds up and gets beneath the gums. Hormonal changes, obesity, smoking, and some health conditions like diabetes are risk factors for periodontal disease.
Carbohydrates in the food and drink you consume feeds the bacteria already in your mouth. The bacteria multiplies, forming a sticky substance called plaque. Brushing and flossing can disrupt this plaque temporarily, but the bacteria begin building back up almost immediately, which is why it is important to brush and floss daily.
When plaque remains undisturbed, sometimes for even just a few days, it begins to calcify and harden into calculus (tartar). Plaque and tartar provide a source of chronic irritation and inflammation of the gums. Left unchecked, eventually this can lead to irreversible inflammatory destruction of the periodontal tissues – the gums and bone that support the teeth. So how is it treated?
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The aim of periodontal therapy is to remove the bacterial plaque and calculus (tartar) beneath the gums and around the teeth, in addition to smoothing the surfaces such that they can be kept clean effectively. This reduces the presence of chronic inflammation and prevents further damage to the bone anchoring the teeth. If daily oral maintenance isn’t enough, the team will perform:
Scaling. Using dental instruments or an ultrasonic instrument, the calculus and plaque are removed from the teeth and beneath the gums.
Root planing. In areas where the gums and bone have detached from the teeth, root planing makes the surface of the root smooth, which makes it easier to keep these areas clean and more difficult to bacteria to accumulate, reducing the irritation and inflammation that result from plaque and calculus.
Antibiotics. Topical antibiotics may be applied between the teeth and gums after cleaning the teeth. These help control infection caused by bacteria.
Doctors Deira and James McLane of McLane Family Dental in Austin, TX want to help you keep your teeth and mouth healthy. If the circumstances of gingivitis or periodontal disease are present, give us a call or click to fill out the online form with your details. Our team is standing by to help.