At Monocacy Valley Dental, it is our goal to provide patients with the highest quality dental care in Frederick, MD, especially with periodontal prevention and treatment. Our experienced dentist and professional staff are trained to prevent gum disease, stop gum disease once it is diagnosed, and treat your gums and teeth with periodontal therapy. For all dental concerns, never hesitate to call our staff in Frederick, MD at Monocacy Valley Dental!
Gum disease, also known as periodontal disease, is an infection of the gums surrounding your teeth. Gum disease is one of the main reasons for tooth loss in adults, and because it is virtually pain-free, many patients do not know they have the disease. During each regular checkup, your dentist will check for signs of gum disease by measuring the space between your teeth and gums.
What Causes Gum Disease?
Gum disease is caused by a buildup of plaque. If the plaque is not removed with flossing, brushing, and regular dental checkups, it will continue to build up and create toxins that can damage the gums. Periodontal disease forms just below the gum line and creates small pockets that separate the gums from the teeth. Periodontal disease has two stages: gingivitis and periodontitis.
- Gingivitis: This is the early stage of gum disease, when the gums become red and swollen, and bleed easily. At this stage, the disease is treatable and can usually be eliminated by daily brushing and flossing.
- Periodontitis: If left untreated, gingivitis will advance into periodontitis, and the gums and bone that support the teeth will become irreversibly damaged. Gums infected with periodontitis can cause teeth to become loose, fall out, or be removed by a dentist.
Certain factors can increase a patient's risk of developing periodontal disease, including:
- Smoking or using chewing tobacco
- Certain types of medication such as steroids, anti-epilepsy drugs, cancer therapy drugs, calcium channel blockers, and oral contraceptives
- Bridges that no longer fit properly
- Crooked teeth
- Old fillings
While it is possible to have periodontal disease and not know it, some symptoms can include:
- Gums that bleed easily
- Red, swollen, tender gums
- Gums that have pulled away from the teeth
- Persistent bad breath or bad taste
- Pus between your teeth and gums
- Permanent teeth that are loose or separating
- Any change in the way your teeth fit together when you bite
- Any change in the fit of partial dentures
Regular dental checkups and periodontal examinations are important for maintaining the health of your teeth and gums. You don't have to lose teeth to periodontal disease. By practicing good oral hygiene at home, you can significantly reduce your chances of ever getting gum disease. Remember to brush regularly, clean between your teeth, eat a balanced diet, and schedule regular dental visits to help keep your smile healthy.
At Monocacy Valley Dental in Frederick, MD, treatments for gum disease can vary depending on the severity of each individual case. Typical treatments include:
- Non-Surgical Treatment: Scaling and root planing is performed with an ultrasonic cleaning device is used to remove plaque and tartar from your teeth where regular cleaning devices can't reach. Then, the rough surface of the tooth and the root are smoothed out (planed).
- Pocket Depth Reduction: During pocket reduction procedures (also known as “flap surgery”), we fold back the gum tissue and remove the bacteria hiding underneath, as well as the hardened plaque and tartar that have collected. We may also remove any tissue that is too damaged to survive. We then sew the healthy tissue back into place.
- Regeneration: When the bone and tissue supporting the teeth have been lost due to severe gum disease, we can restore these areas with a regeneration procedure. We begin by folding back the gum tissue and removing the bacteria, plaque and tartar. Depending on your situation, we may perform a bone graft to stimulate new bone growth, or we may apply a special kind of protein that stimulates tissue growth to repair the areas that have been destroyed by the disease.
- Soft-Tissue Graft: A frequent symptom of gum disease is gum recession (also called gingival recession). As the gums recede, more of the roots are revealed. During a soft-tissue graft, tissue from the top of your mouth or another source is sewed to the gum area, covering the roots and restoring the gum line to its original, healthy location. This procedure can also be performed for cosmetic reasons.
Call Monocacy Valley Dental For Periodontal Therapy Today!
If you or a loved one are experiencing some periodontal problems in the form of gingivitis or periodontitis, please call our dental team at Monocacy Valley Dental. We will be able to assess the damage around your gums and teeth, and which treatment will be most appropriate. To prevent any type of periodontal disease, ensure that you and your family are brushing, flossing, and participating in regular checkups with our Monocacy team. To schedule your next appointment, please do not hesitate to call or stop by our office in Frederick, MD. Let’s keep your smile healthy and beautiful!