At Made Ya Smile Dental West 8, we strive to help every patient enjoy a beautiful smile and the long-term benefits of oral health. Gum (periodontal) disease is a condition that affects many patients and can lead to a range of dental problems along with systemic concerns, like heart disease, stroke, and diabetes. With this oral disease, bacteria living beneath the gums emit toxins that progressively break down the bone and connective tissues holding the teeth in place. If treatment is not received, this process can destroy these supporting tissues to the point where there is no longer enough structure to hold the teeth and tooth loss may result. Gum disease is the leading cause of tooth loss in adults.
Bacteria live and thrive on the teeth and gums in a sticky layer known as biofilm. This substance coats the teeth and contains a mix of plaque, food debris, and bacteria that can irritate and inflame the gums if left undisrupted. Plaque on the teeth may harden into tartar over time and add to gum inflammation and the development of gum disease. To disrupt the biofilm layer and remove deposits that harbor harmful bacteria, and clean beneath the gums where brushing and flossing do not reach, professional periodontal treatments may be needed. While flossing and brushing the teeth thoroughly each day and keeping up with routine dental cleanings can minimize the risk of gum disease, many patients do need additional care to prevent this oral condition from harming their dental health and smile.
Gum disease often causes symptoms in the mouth, like gum inflammation or tenderness, gum recession, lingering bad breath, and bleeding when brushing or flossing. It is important to understand that these symptoms are never normal and should be evaluated by an experienced dental team. If you have any sign or symptom of gum disease, get in touch with our Houston, TX practice and schedule your visit with general dentist Dr. Saba Jamali. She and our team may recommend nonsurgical or surgical gum disease treatments to stop the disease progression in your mouth and help keep the condition from causing further harm to your gums, bone, and teeth. Treating gum disease as early as possible can offer long-term benefits for your overall wellness and smile.
Helping keep your smile healthy and happy is a passion of ours here at Made Ya Smile Dental West 8. Dr. Jamali and our team routinely screen for gum disease during dental exams to diagnose and treat the condition as early as possible. However, if you notice any indication of gum disease between your check-up visits, please get in touch with our team right away so that we can get you in for an evaluation. Treating a periodontal infection early on can help preserve your oral structures and reduce the risk of bone loss, tooth loss, and additional effects of the disease. Even if you were treated for gum disease years ago, the periodontal condition can recur and once again place your health and wellness at risk.
Periodontal treatments may be necessary if you have any signs or symptoms of gum disease. Some of those most common include:
- Gums that bleed
- Gum inflammation, redness, or tenderness
- A bad taste or bad breath
- Pus accumulation around the teeth
- Teeth that feel loose or seem to shift
- A receding gumline
- Bone loss in the jaw
Treating gum disease as soon as possible offers the best opportunity to minimize the damage to the gums and bone supporting your teeth. But it also can help preserve your general health. Gum disease has been linked to a range of systemic health concerns, including heart disease, diabetes, stroke, and certain cancers, along with other concerning conditions. Getting the care you need for a healthy smile can have a positive impact on your overall health and wellness.
What To Expect
To learn about your periodontal condition, Dr. Jamali and our team will take high-quality digital x-rays to view the bone level surrounding and supporting your teeth. Bone loss is a key indicator of gum disease. We will also measure the spaces separating your teeth and gums (periodontal pockets) where destructive bacteria hide and cause the gums to pull away from the tooth structure. Bone loss that is evident in your x-rays along with pocket depths greater than 3mm often indicates the presence of gum disease. If we find that this condition is affecting your dental health, Dr. Jamali will recommend a periodontal treatment based upon the extent of the oral disease and help stop the progression of damage in your mouth.
In cases of gingivitis, or the earliest stage of gum disease, a thorough professional cleaning and improved home care efforts are often recommended. When the disease is diagnosed in the periodontitis stage, nonsurgical scaling and root planing therapy along with locally delivered antibiotics may be the recommended treatment. For advanced cases of periodontitis, or when the disease has affected the deeper layers of gum and bone, a surgical approach to care may be needed. Dr. Jamali and our experienced team are here to help you improve your oral health and strive to make your care personalized, comfortable, and most effective.
Each periodontal treatment carries its own set of follow-up and recovery instructions. At the end of your gum disease treatment visit, we will be sure to review the best ways to care for your teeth and gums as you heal. Brushing and flossing, along with any additional recommended home care therapies, are essential to maintaining a healthier smile after you have been treated for gum disease. We also urge you to avoid using tobacco products. They can prolong the healing process and can worsen your periodontal condition, along with increasing the risk of oral cancer in your mouth.
After your gum disease treatment is complete, Dr. Jamali may recommend that a periodontal maintenance program to help keep gum disease from recurring and further impacting your health. The oral bacteria that lead to periodontal infections are known to reproduce rapidly beyond 90 days. Periodontal maintenance cleanings every 3 – 4 months can help you manage bacteria in the mouth and keep your gums and bone in good health. These visits include a very thorough cleaning to remove plaque and tartar above and below the gums and keep the accumulation of the irritants at a low level. Periodontal maintenance visits replace biannual dental prophylaxis visits and are customized to help you manage your oral health in a way that is most beneficial to your smile.
Made Ya Smile Dental West 8 is a provider for most major PPO dental plans. While treatment for periodontal disease is often covered in part by a number of dental insurances, our team will review your plan details and let you know of any personal costs. Addressing a periodontal condition as early as possible is very important to the long-term health of your smile. If you do not have insurance or have unexpected treatment costs, talk to our team about our in-house dental savings plan and flexible payment methods. We can review your options and help you find a solution that works for you.
Gum disease affects the smiles, oral health, and lives of many Houston, TX patients — some of whom are unaware of its presence in their mouth. To keep your smile at its best, we encourage you to maintain regular dental care and have any areas of gum disease treated promptly if diagnosed. Gum disease can recur, even if you have been treated for it previously. Dr. Jamali and our team are your partners in oral health and want to help you enjoy the highest quality smile dentistry has to offer. Talk to our team at Made Ya Smile Dental West 8 today to schedule your gum disease screening and learn if nonsurgical or surgical care is the best approach for bringing health back to your smile.