Periodontics is the branch of dentistry that focuses on the prevention, diagnosis, and treatment of periodontal disease—otherwise known as gum disease. Did you know that over 64 million Americans suffer from some form of gum disease? Additionally, one of the most sinister characteristics of gum disease is that it is often asymptomatic or shows minimal symptoms; this means that you could have it and not even know it. That’s why proper periodontal care is so important! By visiting our team for regular examinations, you can ensure that any problems are caught early and treated accordingly.
At our office, we offer modern periodontal therapy services to meet your needs in a comfortable, quick, and effective manner. Whether you require a cleaning or a more advanced treatment, we’re here to help! We use the latest technology and techniques to provide you with the best possible care, backed by the dedication of our team.
If you’re looking for high-quality periodontal care in Bartlesville, OK, look no further than our office. Schedule an appointment today!
What is Gum Disease?
Gum disease is an infection of the gums, bones, and tissues that support your teeth. Besides dental decay, it is one of the leading causes of tooth loss in adults. Gum disease is caused by plaque—a sticky film of food debris, bacteria, and saliva that forms on your teeth. Plaque eats away at the enamel on your teeth and also irritates and inflames the gum tissue. Fortunately, plaque is easy to remove with regular brushing and flossing. However, if plaque is not removed within 24 hours, it can harden into tartar. Once tartar forms, it can only be removed by a dentist or dental hygienist.
As plaque and tartar linger on the teeth, they continue to irritate the gum tissue. This can cause the gums to recede, or pull away, from the teeth. As the gum tissue recedes, pockets are left in the spaces between the teeth and gums—an ideal environment for bacteria to thrive. As more bacteria accumulate in these pockets, they release toxins that damage the gum tissue and bone. Eventually, this can lead to tooth loss.
Stages & Symptoms
Gum disease can be divided into three categories: gingivitis, periodontitis, and advanced periodontitis.
- Gingivitis is the first stage of gum disease and is marked by inflammation of the gums. This often goes unnoticed, aside from slight bleeding while flossing and brushing. Patients with gingivitis often experience no pain or discomfort but may notice their teeth appear longer as the gums have receded.
- Periodontitis is the second stage of gum disease and is characterized by inflammation of the gums and the onset of bone loss. Patients with periodontitis often experience some pain and discomfort, as well as bleeding while flossing and brushing. At this stage, bacteria, plaque, and tartar have begun to accumulate in the gum pockets. Out of reach of the toothbrush, this bacterial growth rapidly breaks down the bone and connective tissue that holds teeth in place.
- Advanced periodontitis is the most severe stage of gum disease and is recognized by severe swelling of the gums and significant bone loss. This can lead to the loss of teeth, as well as an increased risk for other health problems such as heart disease. Patients with advanced periodontitis often experience severe pain and discomfort, as well as blood and pus draining from the gum tissue. In addition, they may notice their teeth are loose or that their bite has changed.
If you think you may have gum disease, it is important to see a dentist right away. While gingivitis can be reversed with proper oral hygiene, periodontitis and advanced periodontitis require professional treatment. Once gum disease has progressed to these stages, it is not possible to reverse the damage that has been done. However, with proper treatment, it is possible to control the infection and prevent further damage from occurring.
As a result of numerous advancements made in the dental field, it is no longer necessary for surgery or uncomfortable, lengthy procedures to be the only solution for treating periodontal disease. At our office, we offer laser treatment for gum disease as a minimally invasive way to remove bacteria from the gum pockets.
Laser treatment is a quick and easy procedure that can be done in just one visit to our office. The laser light energy emitted from the tool breaks up the bacterial cells, effectively killing them. At the same time, the heat generated from the laser helps to stimulate new tissue growth, which helps to improve your overall gum health. Additionally, since cutting, suturing, scaling, and other invasive procedures are not needed with laser treatment, there is minimal discomfort and healing time associated with the procedure.
If you have been diagnosed with periodontal disease, or if you are noticing symptoms such as bleeding gums, bad breath, or loose teeth, we encourage you to schedule a consultation with our office so that we can determine if laser treatment is right for you.