Gum disease can mean a number of conditions affecting the soft tissue lining the mouth. Phoenix-area patients suffering from gum disease should first understand their symptoms before seeking periodontal treatment options.
Gum disease results from an excessive buildup of plaque or tartar within the mouth. Poor dental hygiene can compound this buildup, leading to a variety of problems:
- Inflammation and swelling of the gums
- Gingivitis: Gums become more inflamed, making them sensitive and prone to bleeding easily
- Periodontitis: More severe form of gum disease, where gum tissue pulls away from the teeth, leaving spaces where infections can develop; can also lead to bone loss
Good oral hygiene, augmented by a full checkup and cleaning with Dr. DonaldWilcox, is the first step toward avoiding gum disease. However, periodontal treatment can help offset the effect of conditions affecting the gums. Depending on the severity of inflammation, swelling or infection, Dr. Wilcox might use the following methods:
- Antibiotics to control infection
- Scaling and root planing: A deep cleaning that removes tartar from above and below the gum line, as well as problem areas on the roots; cleanings can be done manually or with technological devices like an ultrasound scaler and gentle soft tissue laser
- Flap surgery: Procedure where Dr. Wilcox makes an incision in the gum, creating a flap for easier cleaning of the root area
- Tissue grafts: Replaces lost gum tissue by removing soft tissue from an area like the roof of the mouth and surgically attaching it to the gum line
- Bone grafts: Offsets bone loss from gum disease by strengthening affected teeth through transplant of small fragments of bone to the mouth
If you suspect you may suffer from gum disease, please contact Desert Smiles today to schedule your periodontal treatment consultation. Dr. Donald Wilcox serves patients in Phoenix, Scottsdale and Glendale, Arizona.