If You Are Facing Oral Health Issues, You May Be in Need of Periodontal Therapy
If you need periodontal therapy and want to make sure you are provided the best quality care, you should reach out to Dr. Ann Kelley and her team at Kingsgate Dental in Kirkland, WA. It is their mission that each patient feels as comfortable and at home as possible in a family atmosphere conducive to an outstanding dental experience.
What is Periodontal Therapy?
Losing your natural teeth does not have to be a certainty as you progress through life. With proper oral hygiene, regular cleanings and oral exams, the chances are high that you will be able to keep your natural teeth for life. Aside from caring for your teeth, it’s important to care for the teeth’s support system, which includes the gums and bone that supports the tooth.
Gum disease, a bacterial infection, is a threat to this support system. This is why dentists are vigilant and always looking for early signs which you, the patient, may not be aware of or may not be able to look for. When these symptoms are detected, periodontal therapy could be the next course of action.
Periodontal therapy may encompass different methods, but the aim is always to rehabilitate infected tissues back to good health. If left unchecked, periodontal disease can accelerate and advance from the gums to the supporting bone and could even lead to you losing teeth. Therapies that can block this range from deep cleanings (scaling), which remove plaque and calculus from under the gum line, to the surgical restoration of destroyed bone and gum tissue.
Stages and Symptoms of Periodontitis
Periodontal therapy is necessary for the prevention and treatment of periodontitis, which is a serious infection of the gums. Periodontitis is caused when bacteria have been allowed to accumulate on the teeth and gums.
Periodontitis progresses through stages, with each stage endangering your oral health and progressively getting worse. These stages are:
- Inflammation – Gingivitis is the first stage. This is an inflammation of the gums and one of the first signs of Periodontitis. This stage is usually signaled by bleeding of the gums when you brush or floss.
- Early Periodontal Disease – When your gums begin to pull back from your teeth, small pockets will become exposed in the area where the gums have receded. These pockets allow for harmful bacteria to develop and hide in. As your body begins to fight this infection, it will cause the gum tissue to recede. Bleeding will continue when brushing/flossing and there could be some bone loss.
- Moderate Periodontal Disease – When the early stages of the disease are not treated, you may begin to experience moderate pain around the receding gum line. Bone loss will increase, causing the support this bone provides your teeth to weaken, leading to potential tooth loss. This stage of the infection could lead to your body responding with an inflammatory response. Bleeding will continue.
- Advanced Periodontal Disease – This stage will result in the connective tissue which holds your teeth in place to deteriorate. Destruction of your teeth’s support system (gums and bones) is likely. You will feel severe pain when chewing, have constant bad breath and taste in your mouth. Tooth loss is likely. Bleeding will continue.
Early symptoms of periodontitis may not be noticeable, but with regular dental cleanings and exams, Dr. Kelley will be able to point them out for you. This will ensure that corrective action can be taken.
Periodontal Therapy Procedures
Periodontal therapy comes in various forms and can be non-surgical when the disease is caught in its early stages. As periodontitis progresses, Dr. Kelley may have no choice but to suggest surgical options. Either way, these procedures are meant to restore your oral health and can include:
- Scaling/Root Planing – These procedures are the best deep-cleaning methods to begin in your battle against periodontitis. Plaque and calculus will be removed from under the gums using hand scalers or ultrasonic equipment.
- Gum Grafting – Used when replacing lost gum tissue becomes necessary to protect tooth roots. Healthy gum tissue is taken from a healthy area of the mouth and moved to replace what has been lost. If there is not enough healthy gum tissue present in the patient’s mouth, donor tissue may be used.
- Periodontal Plastic Surgery – Used to reshape and create a more pleasing appearance of the gum tissue.
- Periodontal Laser Treatment – Used to remove infected gum tissue. The advantages of this method include less discomfort and gum shrinkage than removal by conventional surgery.
- Crown Lengthening Surgery – The process of exposing tooth structure that is covered by the gums so that cosmetic work can be done. Also, it may be necessary when a new dental crown needs to be secured.
- Dental Implants – When replacing teeth, the most preferred method is a dental implant. A titanium implant is placed beneath the gum line, into the jawbone, with a realistic dental crown attached to the implant. It is a minor surgical procedure resulting in a realistic-looking artificial tooth.
The team at Kingsgate Dental Clinic is here to support you in your oral health goals. If you believe you may need periodontal therapy or just need an exam and cleaning, please call in at (425) 385-0080 and schedule an appointment.