Nearly half of American adults aged 30 and older have some form of periodontal disease, according to the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC). At Impressive Smiles Tampa in Tampa, Florida, Robert J. Perez, DDS, is dedicated to preventing and treating periodontal disease at every stage. Call Impressive Smiles Tampa or schedule an appointment online to learn more.
Commonly called gum disease, periodontal disease is an inflammatory condition in which the gums begin to recede from the teeth, leading to infection and tooth loss in some cases. There are two main types of gum disease:
Caused by bacteria and plaque buildup, gingivitis causes your teeth to swell and bleed easily. Fortunately, your teeth are still firmly in place at this stage, which means the infection hasn’t spread to your jawbone, which supports your teeth. With early intervention, gingivitis is reversible.
If you don’t seek periodontal treatment early on, your gums can start to pull back from your teeth and lead to advanced gum disease, or periodontitis. Receding gums leave small open spaces for plaque and bacteria to pass through. More often than not, the bacteria becomes trapped and forms small pockets between your gums and teeth. Over time, the bacteria festers and releases acids that destroy your gum tissue and, ultimately, your supporting bone.
Some of the most common gum disease symptoms to watch out for include:
Most Americans have some level of gum inflammation and bleeding while brushing, so you may not know that you have gum disease. That’s why Dr. Perez recommends biannual checkups at least once every six months.
How Dr. Perez treats your condition depends entirely on its progression. In its early stages, gum disease can be treated with a professional dental cleaning and lifestyle changes, such as improved oral hygiene habits and quitting tobacco use. Once it progresses to periodontitis, however, Dr. Perez recommends more advanced treatments.
Scaling and root planing is a highly effective gum disease treatment that targets the pockets of plaque between your gums and teeth. During this nonsurgical procedure, Dr. Perez scrapes away plaque below the gum line (scaling) and smoothes out any rough spots on your tooth root (planing). This helps your gums better attach to your teeth to prevent bacteria from building up again.
Periodontal disease may require oral surgery if left untreated for long enough. To find out more about your treatment options, call Impressive Smiles Tampa or book an appointment online.