How Gum Disease Is Treated in Clear Lake, TX
Dr. Rosas and Dr. Budman are committed to providing you with family-centered dental care that helps keep your smile healthy for a lifetime. One of the most common oral health concerns they encounter at Rosas Family Dentistry in Clear Lake, TX is gum disease, also known as periodontitis or periodontal disease.
Gum disease is a prevalent condition that can lead to serious oral health (and systemic medical) issues if left untreated.
The most important thing to remember is that early detection and treatment are key to preventing gingivitis from progressing to more severe stages of gum disease. Your oral health is our top priority, and we’re here to support you every step of the way.
What Causes Periodontitis or Gum Disease?
Gum disease is an active infection beyond that of simple gingivitis. It is primarily caused by the accumulation of plaque and tartar on your teeth and under the edges of your gumline. Plaque is a sticky film of bacteria that naturally forms on your teeth. When plaque isn’t regularly removed through proper oral hygiene practices like brushing and flossing, it can (and will) harden into tartar, which can only be removed by a dentist or dental hygienist.
Tartar is a hard, rock-like buildup. The bacteria in plaque and tartar produce and protect toxins that irritate your gum tissues, leading to inflammation. This initial stage of gum disease is known as gingivitis. Thankfully, gingivitis is reversible with good hygiene and preventative care. But if gingivitis is left untreated, it can progress to periodontitis, where the infection extends deeper into the supporting structures of the teeth, including the bone.
Several factors can increase the risk of developing gum disease, including:
- Poor Oral Hygiene: Inadequate brushing and flossing allow plaque to accumulate and calcify into tartar (dental calculus.) If you’re behind on your routine dental cleanings, you’re at a significantly higher risk of oral infection.
- Smoking and Tobacco Use: Tobacco products weaken your immune system and reduce blood flow to your mouth, making it harder for your body to fight off infections like gum disease.
- Misaligned Teeth: Teeth that are significantly crowded or crooked tend to be harder to clean, causing more plaque buildup between or around them.
- Medical Conditions: Certain medical conditions like diabetes can increase the risk of gum disease.
Common Gum Disease Symptoms
Identifying gum disease in its early stages is crucial for effective treatment. Some common symptoms of periodontal infections include:
- Bleeding Gums: One of the most common signs of gum disease is bleeding, especially when brushing or flossing.
- Swollen and Red Gums: Inflammation of the gingiva (gum tissues) is a clear indication of an active infection.
- Bad Breath: Persistent bad breath that doesn’t improve with brushing and flossing may be due to bacteria or necrotic tissues below the gumlines.
- Receding Gums: Your gums may start to pull away from your teeth, making your teeth appear longer and creating visible spaces between them.
- Sensitive Teeth: Increased tooth sensitivity because of exposed root surfaces is common with chronic tissue loss.
- Loose Teeth: In the advanced stages of gum disease, teeth will become loose or even fall out.
- Pain: Some individuals may experience pain when chewing due to the infection around their roots.
If you notice any of these symptoms, it’s essential to seek out care as quickly as possible. Early detection and treatment can prevent the progression of gum disease and the potential for tooth loss.
How Gum Disease is Treated in Houston, TX
At Rosas Family Dentistry in Clear Lake, TX, Dr. Rosas and Dr. Budman offer effective treatment options for gum disease. The choice of treatment will depend on the severity of the condition as well as your underlying risk factors. Here are some common approaches to treating gum disease:
Scaling and Root Planing: This non-surgical procedure involves removing plaque and tartar from the tooth surfaces and below the gumline. The roots of the teeth are then smoothed to promote healing and prevent future plaque buildup. These “deep cleanings” are the most common type of soft tissue treatment for gum disease.
Medication: In some cases, antibiotics or prescription mouth rinse may be prescribed to reduce bacterial load in conjunction with deep cleanings. However, they will not treat the infection on their own.
Laser Therapy: Advanced laser technology can be used to remove infected tissue and promote healing.
Surgical Intervention: In severe cases of gum disease, surgical procedures may be necessary to access and clean deeper pockets of infection. These procedures can include flap surgery or bone grafting to regenerate lost bone tissue.
Maintenance and Follow-up: After periodontal treatment, routine periodontal maintenance cleanings are essential to prevent relapse.
Dr. Rosas and Dr. Budman will evaluate your specific condition and create a personalized treatment plan tailored to your needs.
Schedule Your Appointment Today
Your oral health is tied to your overall wellness and quality of life. Gum disease should not be ignored. If you suspect you have a gum infection or struggle with bleeding gums, contact Rosas Family Dentistry in Clear Lake to schedule an appointment with Dr. Rosas or Dr. Budman. We look forward to helping you achieve and maintain a healthy, beautiful smile!