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Although it specializes in the prevention and treatment of gum disease, periodontics is a dental speciality that encompasses a wide array of services and procedures designed to improve and maintain the general health of your gums. Periodontists–dentists who have additional training in the diagnosis, prevention, and treatment of gum disease at all its stages–can help halt or even reverse the effects of gum disease (also called periodontal disease or periodontitis) and inflammation with surgical and non-surgical options like:

  • Dental deep cleaning (also known as scaling and root planing)
  • Deep pocket cleaning
  • Crown lengthening
  • Flap/pocket reduction surgery
  • Bone and tissue graft surgery
  • Dental implants 

A healthy smile takes more than just clean teeth. That’s why periodontics is among the many general and specialized dental services offered at Castle Dental, where you can find comprehensive oral care solutions for everyone in your family. From routine cleanings to scaling and planing, as well as more advanced periodontal treatments, Castle Dental makes it easy and affordable for you to have great gums.

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What types of periodontal treatments are there?

There are multiple types of periodontal treatments available and the ideal treatment often depends on the current condition of the patient’s gums.

Minor inflammation or early gingivitis can usually be treated by non-surgical procedures like:

  • Scaling and root planing, or dental deep cleaning, which removes plaque and tartar from under the gum line
  • Antibiotic or antimicrobial mediation or mouth rinses, to remove inflammation from hard-to-clean areas in the mouth

More advanced stages of gum disease or smile enhancement–such as crown lengthening–may require surgical treatment.

Common periodontal surgeries include:

  • Bone and/or tissue grafting, which removes infected tissue or bone and replaces it with healthy tissue or bone to encourage new gum growth in the affected area
  • Flap or pocket reduction surgery, which reduces or removes pockets that have formed at the gumline. Tartar, plaque, and bacteria are cleaned out from under the gums, gumline, and tooth roots, then the gum tissue is reshaped and reattached to the teeth.
  • Guided bone tissue regeneration, which is often paired with flap surgery, and consists of implanting small mesh material into the gumline to help promote healthy regrowth.
  • Dental implants, permanent dental prostheses that are implanted into the jaw to replace teeth that have fallen out or had to be removed as a result of gum disease

How do I know if I need periodontal treatment?

Signs you may need to seek periodontal treatment include:

  • Inflamed or irritated gums
  • Tooth or jaw sensitivity or pain
  • Sores in your mouth or cheeks
  • Tooth discoloration along the gum line
  • Changes in your bite
  • Excessive amounts of plaque or tartar buildup, especially along the gumline

These are all indications of gum disease, a chronic and progressive condition in which tartar and plaque buildup create a bacterial infection in the gums that can spread to the teeth, jawbone, and even the bloodstream, if not treated.

What is gum disease?

Gum disease begins as gingivitis and is characterized by inflamed and discolored gums that bleed after brushing and flossing. Patients also generally complain of a sour taste in their mouth or foul breath with gingivitis. 

Gingivitis is the only stage of gum disease that can be reversed with improved oral hygiene, so it’s important to seek treatment as soon as possible if you begin to experience any of the symptoms. 

If it’s not treated, gingivitis will gradually progress into early periodontitis–which occurs when an infection has developed in the gum tissue and supporting bones–then into moderate and advanced periodontitis. Advanced periodontitis is a serious condition that severely compromises the teeth and bone structure, causing bone deterioration, tooth loss, and dental abscess. Tooth extraction, dental implants, and bone or tissue grafts may be required to treat advanced periodontitis.

What are the risk factors of gum disease?

While gum disease can affect anyone, certain people are more at risk for developing it. It’s important to keep an open dialogue with your dentist about potential risk factors so that he or she can monitor your gum health accordingly and be ready to refer you for additional periodontal treatment as necessary.

Factors that increase your risk of developing gum disease include:

  • Poor oral hygiene
  • Irregular or infrequent dentist visits
  • Alcohol consumption or tobacco use, including e-cigarettes use and vapes
  • Puberty, menopause, pregnancy, or oral contraceptives
  • Use of steroids or calcium-channel blockers
  • Conditions like diabetes, heart disease, or osteoporosis
  • Certain types of cancers and/or using chemotherapy drugs

Professional Periodontal Care from Castle Dental

It’s never too late to start taking better care of your oral health. With periodontal services from Castle Dental, we can help you prevent problems like gum disease or repair the damage if you already have it. Our multiple locations, flexible scheduling, and variety of payment options make it easy, convenient, and affordable for you to get all the dental care you need at one familiar location. Schedule an appointment today at the Castle Dental location nearest you and find out if you could benefit from periodontal services.