treatment for gum disease
What is periodontal care
Gum disease, or periodontal disease, is an infection of the gums that destroys bone and soft tissue over time. Periodontal care encompasses the prevention and treatment of gum disease. In the earliest stage of gingivitis, gum disease is reversible.
At this point, it may be reversed with something as simple as a simple dental cleaning and good oral hygiene. However, if left untreated, it will develop into irreversible periodontitis and require more significant treatment. There are different stages of periodontitis.
In the earlier stages, gum disease is treated with a deep cleaning which consists of scaling and root planing to remove plaque and tartar buildup and smooth out the tooth’s root. Once periodontitis has become advanced, patients will require oral surgery such as gum or bone grafts, gum flap surgery, bone surgery, or guided tissue regeneration.
infections of the gums
what are periodontal diseases?
Periodontal diseases are infections in the gum and soft tissue surrounding the teeth. It’s caused by improper oral hygiene that leads to a buildup of plaque and tartar along the gumline. When plaque is left untreated, it hardens into tartar which is incredibly difficult to remove and requires professional cleaning.
Your immune system reacts to this bacteria in the mouth by creating an inflammatory response that results in the redness and swelling of the gums that we see in gingivitis. Over time, the gums will begin to recede and pull away from the teeth and form gum pockets that can trap bacteria.
Gum disease can be diagnosed based on the depths of the gum pockets. A healthy gum pocket will be between 1-3mm while a pocket over 3mm indicates gingivitis and pockets deeper than 4mm indicate periodontitis.
Keeping your gums healthy
why is periodontal treatment necessary?
Periodontal treatment is necessary because gum disease causes irreversible bone destruction and soft tissue damage which could have been prevented with good oral hygiene. Once a patient has reached advanced periodontitis, their teeth will become loose, and are at a high risk of tooth loss.
By detecting and treating gum disease in the earliest stage (gingivitis) it can be completely reversed with a minimally invasive cleaning. However, once it progresses, it causes significant damage, tooth loss, and expensive and invasive procedures to treat it.
Tooth loss from gum disease can make it more difficult to speak and chew, cause aesthetic issues with your smile, and change your facial structure. Your oral health is also connected to your overall health so having gum disease increases your risk of many other serious health conditions such as:
- Heart attack
- Heart disease
getting the care you need
is periodontal care covered by insurance?
Many treatments for periodontal care are often covered by dental insurance depending on your plan, especially if they are medically necessary. While we won’t be able to tell you definitively if your specific insurance plan will cover treatment for periodontal disease, the best way to find out is to contact your insurance provider directly.
If your insurance does not cover periodontal care, we accept financing through CareCredit and GreenSky to help you fund your dental treatment. You can find the list of insurance networks that we accept here. To schedule an appointment for periodontal care with Dr. Katelyn Miller, contact us at Shine Dental today.