Diagnosing and Treating Periodontal Disease
Swollen and bleeding gums do not happen overnight. They result from a period of bacterial growth in your mouth. If you do not take measures to prevent it, it causes plaque and tartar to grow underneath your gum. The acid and toxins irritate your gum. They cause swelling and bleeding. As the condition worsens, it can lead to tooth loss.
Periodontal disease destroys the tissue around your teeth and causes irreversible gum damage. At this stage, the body’s immune system fights the plaque as it spreads and grows below your gum line. Without proper measures, bacteria can get into your bloodstream and cause heart disease. If you suspect you have periodontal disease, seek dental care immediately.
How Do Dentists Diagnose Periodontal Disease?
Your dentist at Attuned Dental Care will take you through several steps to determine whether you have periodontal disease. They will check the extent of the progression to determine the best course of treatment. The steps the dentist takes to diagnose periodontal disease include:
Reviewing Your Medical History
The dentist will interview you to know if any habits or factors are causing the conditions. These include smoking and your oral care routine. They will check your medical history. Certain medications that cause dry mouth can also accelerate gum disease.
Examining Your Mouth
The dentist will use special tools to check your mouth. This way, they can determine whether you have periodontal disease or not. If you do, they will analyze its extent. They will look for plaque and tartar buildup. They will also look at gum recession, inflammation, and easy bleeding of your gums.
Measuring the Pocket Depth
The dentist measures the pocket depth of the indentation between your teeth and gums. To do this, they will place a dental probe aside your tooth, beneath your gum line. They do this at several points in your mouth.
For healthy gums, the pocket depth is one to three millimeters. But if your pocket depth is more than four millimeters, it indicates periodontal disease. Anything deeper than five millimeters may require surgery since cleaning is not efficient.
Taking Dental X-rays
Finally, the dentist will want to check for bone loss. They will take X-rays of your mouth, especially in areas where they observe deep pocket depths. After all the above steps, the dentist can assign a stage and grade to the periodontal disease. They will recommend treatment depending on this classification.
Treatment depends on the severity of the disease. It determines the risk factors, the complexity of treatment, and your health. Treatment may be non-surgical or surgical.
If the periodontal disease is not severe, the dentist will opt for non-surgical treatments like scaling, root planing, and antibiotics. The process involves deep cleaning and removal of plaque and tartar. Root planing smooths the root surfaces, allowing for reattachment of the gum. It also discourages further buildup of bacteria and tartar.
If the periodontal disease is severe, the treatment may require dental surgery. It includes operations like pocket reduction surgery, soft tissue grafts, and bone grafting. Other procedures include guided tissue regeneration and the use of tissue-stimulating proteins.
After treatment, you must take up a healthy oral care routine. Avoid smoking or chewing tobacco. It may cause further damage, especially if you are in the process of healing.
For more information on diagnosing and treating periodontal disease, visit Attuned Dental Care at our office in Milpitas, California. You can call (408) 263-3090 today to schedule an appointment.
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We promise to listen to your needs and come up with a treatment plan that best fits your desires and goals. Attuned Dental Care is committed to extend and strengthen the life of your teeth and your total dental health.