Periodontal disease is considered a “silent” disease because there is usually no pain associated with this bacterial infection of the gums and tissues. The best way to avoid periodontal disease is to practice good oral hygiene and visit your Dentist regularly. Individuals that have poor oral hygiene, smoke/chew tobacco, take steroids, have a family history of periodontal disease, are pregnant, have heart disease/diabetes/osteoporosis, or take certain drugs are at a higher risk for developing periodontal disease.
Stages of Periodontal Disease
The two major stages of periodontal disease are gingivitis and periodontitis. Gingivitis Gingivitis means inflammation of the gum tissue. This is the mild form of periodontal disease as it only affects the gums. If gingivitis is caught early on and properly treated, it can be reversed. However, if left untreated it can turn into Periodontitis.
This is a more advanced form of periodontal disease. At this point, bacteria have penetrated deeper into your tissues where the bone and membranes support your teeth. If left untreated, it can lead to serious health problems and tooth loss. Once periodontitis has developed, it is irreversible. There are three stages of irreversible periodontitis; early, moderate, and advanced. These stages require a deeper cleaning by your Dentist, Hygienist, or a Periodontist.
A Dentist with an additional three years of education and specialized training in the prevention, diagnosis, and treatment of gum disease is a qualified Periodontist. If you are suffering from periodontal disease your Dentist may refer you to a Periodontist for treatment.
The treatment process varies depending on the stage of deterioration of the individual’s gums, teeth, supporting tissues, and bone. There are two treatment options for periodontal disease: non-surgical and surgical. After x-rays and a thorough periodontal exam, your Dentist or Periodontist will discuss your options. Non-Surgical Scaling and root planing is the most common non-surgical treatment for periodontal disease. This procedure removes the plaque, tarter, and harmful bacteria from the roots of your teeth. Good oral hygiene after the procedure helps to prevent the plaque and tarter from returning.
Vescovo Family Dentistry, welcomes patients of all ages from toddlers to seniors. We treat all of our dental patients like family. Dr. Joseph Vescovo is excited to provide the Arlington community with excellent dental care ranging from preventative cleanings to complex care including crowns, prosthetics, & periodontics.