What Is Periodontal Disease?
Periodontal (gum) disease is an inflammatory condition in the mouth caused by bacteria that live within dental plaque. Without professional care, periodontal disease can lead to the breakdown of gum and bone tissue that surround the teeth and help hold them in place. To diagnose gum disease, our general dentists routinely screen for this condition during preventive dental care visits. We also offer effective care to treat both the gingivitis and periodontitis stages of the oral infection. If you have bleeding gums, bad breath, bone loss, or other signs and symptoms of gums disease, get in touch with Byers Station Dental in Chester Springs, PA to schedule a periodontal evaluation with our skilled team.
The Stages of Periodontal Disease
Periodontal disease is generally observed in three distinct stages:
- Gingivitis is the initial stage, which is brought on by a buildup of plaque around the gumline. When treatment is received, the disease progress can be arrested before permanent damage, such as bone loss, occurs.
- Periodontitis results when gingivitis is allowed to progress. In this stage, the bone and fibers around the teeth begin to break down.
- Advanced periodontitis is the most severe phase of periodontal disease and is often characterized by gum recession, advanced bone loss, tooth mobility, and tooth loss.
Signs and Symptoms of Gum Disease
Since gum disease may be difficult to detect on your own, our dentists recommend that all patients attend dental exams at our Chester Springs, PA practice at least twice each year. However, please let us know if you experience any periodontal concerns between dental visits. Common signs and symptoms of gum disease include:
- Swollen or red gums
- Bleeding when brushing or flossing
- Gum recession
- Tooth sensitivity
- Chronic halitosis (bad breath)
- Loose teeth
- Pus around the gums
The effects of gum disease may impact more than just your oral health. Studies show a link between periodontal infections and heart disease, diabetes, and other systemic health conditions, making treatment for gum disease highly important to your general well-being.
Diagnosis and Treatment for Gum Disease
Our team will perform a gum disease screening by taking x-rays of your teeth and measuring the spaces separating your teeth and gums (periodontal pockets) with a small ruler. If our dentists determine that bone loss around your teeth has occurred and your periodontal pockets measure over three millimeters in depth, they may render a gum disease diagnosis. Treatment for gum disease will be determined by the severity of the infection. Our Chester Springs, PA practice proudly offers nonsurgical gingivitis and periodontitis treatments. In cases of advanced periodontitis, or when surgical care is needed, our dentists may partner with a trusted local specialist to complete your care.
Recovery Following Periodontal Care
Instructions on caring for your teeth and gums following periodontal therapy will vary according to the type of treatment provided. In some cases, periodontal treatment may take place over a series of appointments at Byers Station Dental. The bacteria responsible for gum disease grow quickly after about 90 days. Once your oral health is reestablished, our dentists may recommend that you follow a periodontal maintenance program to prevent a recurrence of active infection. These visits, which are scheduled every 3 – 4 months, include thorough cleanings and periodontal evaluations and take the place of biannual dental prophylaxis visits.
Is Gum Treatment Covered by Insurance?
If you carry dental insurance, our office will talk to your insurance provider to learn about your coverage and calculate any out-of-pocket treatment costs. Byers Station Dental accepts an array of affordable payment options for those who have personal expenses for their care. We will be happy to help you find a comfortable financial solution so you can get the care needed for better periodontal health.
Protect Your Health From Gum Disease
Gum disease can progress and have harmful effects on your health and smile without proper care. At Byers Station Dental, our dentists and team will work with you to rejuvenate your periodontal health and help stop the disease in its tracks. For more information, or to schedule a gum disease screening, please contact our office in Chester Springs, PA today.