More than 47% of Americans aged 30 and older have periodontal disease. Though common, periodontal disease increases the risk of loose teeth, gum recession, and bone loss without intervention and treatment. At North Hawaii Dental LLC, general dentist Maricris Meyer, DDS, diagnoses and treats periodontal disease in adults and teens. To make an appointment at the practice in Kamuela, Hawaii, call the office or use the online booking tool today.
Periodontal disease refers to inflammation of the gums. It occurs when plaque –– a thin film of bacteria, saliva, and food particles –– builds up around the base of your teeth and beneath your gum tissue.
There are several types of periodontal disease, but North Hawaii Dental LLC focuses on the two most common:
Gingivitis causes mild inflammation of your gum tissue. It’s characterized by red, swollen, or sensitive gums that bleed when brushing or flossing.
Periodontitis occurs when gingivitis goes untreated. Over time, it causes your gums to recede, forming pockets. Harmful bacteria collects in these pockets, increasing the risk of loose teeth and bone loss.
Common symptoms of periodontal disease include:
If you wear dentures and have gum disease, you might also notice that your prosthetics no longer fit or have a tendency to move around.
To diagnose gum disease, your North Hawaii Dental LLC provider reviews your oral health history, asks about your symptoms, and conducts an oral exam. During the exam, your provider uses a small ruler to measure the pockets around your teeth. Normal pocket depth is between one and three millimeters. Pockets larger than that indicate gum disease.
If your provider detects the signs of gum disease, they also order digital X-rays. X-rays use electronic sensors and small amounts of radiation to capture photographs of your jaw, alveolar bone, and tooth roots.
North Hawaii Dental LLC offers several types of periodontal disease treatment, including:
If your provider catches periodontal disease in its early stages, they recommend scaling and root planing. This outpatient procedure involves your provider carefully removing plaque and tartar from around your teeth and beneath your gums. Then, they smooth out your tooth roots, making it easier for your gums to reattach.
Scaling and root planing isn’t always enough to eradicate periodontal disease. If you have an advanced infection, your provider might recommend scaling and root planing in combination with antibiotic therapy.
Antibiotic therapy uses prescription medication to eradicate harmful bacteria. It comes in various forms, including antiseptic sprays, oral medications, and implantable antibiotic beads.
If you have an advanced stage of periodontal disease with severely receding gums, gum flap surgery may be necessary. During gum flap surgery, your North Hawaii Dental LLC provider takes a piece of healthy skin from the roof of your mouth and stitches it over an area of receding tissue.
Over time, the graft integrates with your natural gum tissue, restoring your gums to a healthy, vibrant condition.
To explore the various treatment options for periodontal disease, make an appointment at North Hawaii Dental LLC by calling the office or using the online booking tool today.