Gingivitis and Peridontitis, also known more generally as “gum disease,” are conditions that affect the gums and teeth to various degrees. Depending on the severity of the condition, the disease causing bacteria could either stay on the surface of the tooth or begin to affect the tooth roots, eventually causing everything from pain to puss to tooth loss.
While a simple cleaning might help in the early stages, some cases are past the point of no return. Keep reading below to find out what your options are no matter what stage of gum disease you find yourself in, and where to get the best dentists in Arizona.
The Progression of Gum Disease
Like many conditions affecting the mouth, there are different stages of periodontitis. The longer the condition is left to persist, the more difficult treating gum disease becomes.
Early on, Peridontitis actually begins as a milder condition— gingivitis. Gingivitis is actually easy to treat and generally reversible. Most commonly, treatments include maintaining good oral hygiene (brushing and flossing twice a day) in addition to visiting the dentist to remove plaque and tartar twice a year.
Unfortunately, after progressing from gingivitis to periodontitis, gum disease becomes more stubborn.
Mild to moderate periodontitis begins when the existing gum bacteria become more aggressive. While this may initially manifest as seemingly simple ailments such as swelling or bleeding gums and bad breath, it soon progresses into a more advanced condition.
In advanced periodontitis, the bacteria begin attacking the bone. Initially, this can cause “pockets” where the gums pull away from the teeth, leaving even more spaces for bacteria to grow and the lower parts of the tooth to be exposed. As the disease progresses, loss of bone density begins to affect the teeth and the jaw. In severe cases, this can cause loose teeth, gums that are inflamed and ooze pus, in addition to pain and problems eating.
While not all forms of gum disease are reversible, there are several different treatment options that act as either preventative care or healthy maintenance of an existing disease.
- Regular dental cleanings: so long as you adhere to a regular twice-yearly schedule, dental cleanings will often catch and prevent any early signs of gingivitis, saving your teeth down the line.
- Scaling and root planing: this procedure is a deep cleaning made for the teeth. The process uses local anesthetic to avoid any discomfort so your dental practitioner can scrape away debris under the gumline (scaling) and smooth the surface of the tooth (planing) to discourage bacterial growth.
- Flap surgery: also known as pocket reduction surgery, this method uses similar cleaning procedures found in Scaling and Planing, but with the added measure of making sure the gums are re-fitted snugly back over the teeth. This results in less room for the bacteria to become trapped and grow.
- Guided tissue regeneration: this procedure can be done during the course of a normal flap surgery. Here, a mesh is placed between the gum and the tooth to provide added support where the bacteria wore away the natural bone support.
- Bone and Gum grafts: these procedures are made to help support your teeth and gums where periodontitis has already taken its toll. Dental professionals normally source bone grafts from synthetic materials whereas soft tissue grafts are most commonly taken from the roof of your mouth.
Who Can Perform These Procedures
The two types of dental professionals you will encounter when looking to have your gum ailments resolved are Periodontists and Dentists. While these professionals often work in the same office, their jobs are not the same. As such, depending on the amount of damage caused by a given case of gum disease, an individual may want to see one over the other.
Of the two, Dentists perform more general work and normally will take care of your teeth if your gum disease has not progressed very far. This includes preventative procedures such as dental cleanings and non-surgical care.
On the other hand, Periodontists are experts at treating the soft tissue in the mouth. These professionals will most likely handle more severe cases of gum disease where invasive procedures are needed.
Gum Disease Treatment Cost
As you can imagine, the price range for various procedures differs greatly depending on the extent of the work that you require. As such, periodontal disease treatment can range anywhere from the price of your average cleaning to several thousands of dollars.
Prevention is the Best Treatment
Nothing is a better treatment than ongoing oral care. This includes not only brushing, but making sure to give special attention to cleaning at the gum line and taking extra precautions such as using an antibacterial mouth rinse. In combination, these measures are good for your overall health, gum tissue, and stave off other tooth-related health problems such as receding gums, tooth decay, and cavities.
While we like to be a source of information for anyone researching on the internet, East Valley Dental Practice has made its home in Mesa, Arizona. Established in the 1980s, we take great pride in having local clients who receive the best dental care and the best service.
If you are in Arizona, don’t hesitate to give us a call at: 480-838-3033 so you can speak to a professional who can help answer your questions or set up an appointment to get a consultation. We are only one call away from a healthier smile.