Periodontal disease, also referred to by patients as “gum disease,” is a bacterial infection of the soft tissues in the mouth. In the earliest stages, the condition is known as gingivitis, while the later stages that can occur without treatment are often referred to as periodontitis, the most advanced stage.
Why should gum disease be treated?
In the earlier stages of gum disease, patients can make a difference with a definitive diagnosis and effective treatment. Gingivitis is often treated with a deep cleaning of the teeth and gums, and may also include antibiotic therapy. This addresses the infection as soon as possible to keep it from continuing on to later stages of periodontal disease which can cause irreversible damage to the teeth, gums, and bone.
What happens if gingivitis is not treated early?
Once the condition has spread and become periodontitis, it cannot be cured, only controlled. At this point, the dentist will prescribe antibiotics to address the bacterial infection. Any damage that has occurred may need to be restored. This includes lost bone with bone grafting, soft tissue grafting to restore receding gum tissue, and tooth replacement options such as dentures, bridges, or implants. During an evaluation with patients, our team can assess where a patient is at, provide appropriate treatment, and then discuss restorative solutions to restore function of the smile.
How can I prevent gum disease?
The best cure is prevention! With proper prevention of decay and disease, many patients will be able to avoid the development of periodontal disease in the first place! Prevention includes brushing after every meal, flossing the teeth at least once a day, and visiting the dentist regularly for evaluations and cleanings. With proper oral health habits, most patients can keep their smile healthy and avoid the need for further treatments.
Call your Sherwood, OR area dentist today!
If you are concerned about the development or progression of gum disease and are interested in working with a dental practice with your oral health goals in mind, contact New Smiles Dental. Call (503) 925-9595 to request an appointment with our dental team. We are conveniently located at 17680 SW Hadley, Suite #101 and accept new patients and families.