In Phoenix, our family dentist sees a lot of people with gum disease, an infection of the gum tissue often caused by an excessive amount of calculus buildup between the teeth and gums. Also known as periodontal disease or periodontitis, this condition is very serious and can lead to a series of other problems including tooth loss. In severe cases, the bacteria from gum disease can actually spread into your bloodstream and affect your heart and systemic health.
Stages of Gum Disease
Periodontal disease has different stages. It ranges from as mild as gingivitis, which is seen when your gums bleed every time you brush your teeth. Advanced periodontitis occurs when the bone structure surrounding the roots of your teeth deteriorates.
The treatment for your gum disease in Phoenix will be based on the severity of your case. Getting rid of this condition isn’t something that happens overnight, or is as easy as taking a few pills. To cure your mouth of infection, you will need professional dental care. There’s no other way around it.
First, you’ll want to come in for an examination so we can determine the stage of gum disease that you’re in. X-rays will help us to see if there is calculus buildup under the gum tissue, and if there has been any bone loss. We can also measure the depth of your gum tissue pocket to help us understand how deep the problem lies.
Once we determine where you stand, our Phoenix dentist will decide whether we can treat your condition in our office or if you would get better results from a gum specialist (periodontist).
The following treatments exist for gum disease:
A debridement is a type of cleaning for people who have heavy buildup and we aren’t able to thoroughly examine the area. It’s more of a pre-emptive and superficial cleaning before we understand what else is going on.
Scaling and Root Planing
Scaling and root planing involves the use of an ultrasonic water scaler to remove the buildup from underneath the gum. Depending on how much calculus is present, this procedure may be split up into as many as four appointments. Anesthesia is also an option to help ensure that you remain comfortable throughout the treatment.
If you have advanced periodontitis then we’ll likely refer you to a specialist for gum surgery. This procedure typically consists of retracting your gum tissue back, cleaning off the buildup surrounding the tooth roots, possibly reshaping the jaw bone, and then bringing the gingiva back up into place.
The infection can get so bad that it deteriorates the jaw bone holding your teeth in place. Bone doesn’t grow back, so in this case you’ll be left with no other choice but to have your teeth removed so that the aggressive infection doesn’t continue to spread.
Gum Disease Treatment in Phoenix, Arizona
If it’s been several years since you’ve had a professional dental cleaning, chances are that you have some level of gum disease. To find out and get your mouth healthy again, call Dr. B of Central Valley Dentistry in Phoenix. We look forward to meeting you!