If your gums are inflamed and sore, your mouth is trying to tell you there’s a problem. You may have gingivitis, the early stage of periodontal disease. This condition can proceed from bad to worse if left untreated, so you should seek periodontal treatment right away.
What is periodontal disease?
Periodontal disease is an inflammation of your gums that makes them tender and sore. If you do nothing when you have gingivitis, the condition morphs into periodontitis, the advanced stage of the disease. The gums eventually recede and pull away from the tooth, loosening it from its foundation. The result is tooth loss.
You may not realize that your oral health affects your overall health.
A gap from a missing tooth or teeth increases the chance of an infection, which can spread throughout your body. Bacteria in your gums from periodontitis can travel in your bloodstream to other organs, where it can lead to such problems as heart disease and sepsis.
If you do have a form of periodontal disease, Dr. J. Paul Fuentes and Dr. Andrew Peterson, board-certified periodontal surgeons with our practice, Arcadia Perio, are here to help you. Treating periodontal disease and bringing you back to full dental health is our mission.
How did I get periodontal disease?
As you can imagine, your mouth is teeming with bacteria. Brushing twice a day, flossing your teeth, and having dental checkups twice a year are the foundation of good oral health that keep the bacteria at bay.
Perhaps you’ve been under stress and have skipped brushing or flossing regularly. Poor oral hygiene is one of the major reasons for periodontal disease.
Other factors contribute as well, including:
- Smoking (toxins in smoke cause bacteria to cling to your teeth)
- A compromised immune system or an illness
- Hormonal fluctuations during menopause, puberty, menstruation, and pregnancy
How can I stop or prevent periodontal disease?
If you’re in the early stages of periodontal disease and have gingivitis, we can stop its progress and reverse the damage. We perform a deep cleaning and then review and demonstrate proper brushing and flossing techniques with you.
Once you return to excellent oral hygiene habits, your gingivitis should resolve. Eating a healthy, balanced diet and managing stress also help stave off periodontal disease.
Treating gum disease
At Arcadia Perio, we treat each case based on the condition of your gums and teeth. Depending on your situation, we may need to deep clean your teeth and their roots, known as scaling and planing, to remove the advanced bacteria growth and the damaged tissue and surfaces.
If you have deep gum pockets that have trapped plaque and tartar under them, we may perform flap surgery. This involves lifting your gums away from your teeth, removing the built-up film, and stitching your gums back so they are tighter.
Often, it’s necessary to graft new gum tissue into the affected areas if you’ve lost some to disease.
When bone loss has occurred due to excessive or long-term infection, we may do a bone grafting procedure that uses either synthetic material or donated tissue to rebuild the structure surrounding your teeth.
What to expect during and after oral surgery
We use either local anesthesia or general anesthesia, depending on the type of surgery you need. We offer oral or IV sedation if you feel you need it rather than local anesthesia.
After surgery, over-the-counter pain medications are usually all it takes to ease mild pain and discomfort.
Plan to eat only soft foods and liquids for a few days after your surgery, avoid heavy lifting and strenuous exercise, and use an antiseptic mouthwash to ward off infection.
Call us or book an appointment through our online portal today to stop periodontal disease in its tracks.