Did you know that according to the Centers for Disease Control, half of people over 30 suffer from some stage of gum disease? Without treatment, this could mean uncomfortable symptoms and even a higher risk of adult tooth loss. To prevent the disease, or manage it successfully to avoid missing teeth, your Kansas City, MO, dentist could offer periodontics.
The Causes and Warning Signs of the Disease
The disease starts initially as inflammation, also known as gingivitis. This could be caused by a number of factors, such as poor oral hygiene, which leads to plaque buildup. The buildup then irritates and inflames the gingival tissues. Other factors include diets high in sugar and starch, which promotes plaque, and the use of cigarettes and other tobacco products. Lack of proper dental cleanings every six months could be a factor as well. Family history, inflammatory illness, and the use of certain medications could lead to the inflammation. Without treatment, this grows more severe with time until the gums pull away from the teeth to create deep pockets. Bacteria entering these pockets causes the disease. Warning signs vary, but often include soreness in the gums, as well as redness and bleeding.
Scaling and Root Planing
In the gingivitis stage, we can completely reverse inflammation with a deep cleaning, also known as a scaling and root planing. If the disease has already developed, we cannot cure it, but we can manage it to prevent the advanced stage known as periodontitis. At this stage, the risk of adult tooth loss increases significantly. The deep cleaning essentially allows us to move plaque and tartar from both the teeth and the roots. Afterward, we polish the teeth. The process could take one visit or up to four, it depends on how severe your buildup actually is. Following treatment, we may recommend a traditional dental cleaning every three to four months to help manage your oral health.
For more severe cases, including periodontitis, we may need more than a scaling and root planing. Instead, we could turn to a variety of oral surgical procedures to help restore health to the smile and prevent tooth loss. Examples include bone grafting, flap surgery, guided tissue regeneration, and even soft tissue grafts. These also help repair the damage to the jawbone and teeth caused by the presence of the disease. If you have any questions, then give us a call today!
Talk To Your Kansas City, MO Dentist About Periodontics
We would like to help you enjoy your best smile with good oral health! To find out more about how we prevent or manage such a serious oral health concern, please contact your Kansas City, MO, dentist, Dr. Murphy, by calling (816) 531-8000.