Periodontal disease is an infection that affects the gums, bone, and other tissues that support your teeth. It is caused by bacteria that accumulate in the mouth and form a sticky film called plaque. Plaque that is not removed hardens into tartar or calculus, which irritates the gums and causes inflammation. This can cause your gums to pull away from your teeth, creating pockets where more bacteria and food particles can build up. If left untreated, this can lead to bone loss and, eventually, tooth loss.
At J. Whitley Wills, DDS, we offer several types of periodontal therapy to treat gum disease. Our dentist in Memphis, TN, may recommend scaling and root planing to remove plaque and tartar from below the gum line and smooth the tooth roots. Antibiotics may also be prescribed to help control the infection. In severe cases, surgery may be necessary to repair the damage caused by the disease.
The Symptoms of Periodontal Disease
- Gums that bleed easily
- Red, swollen, tender gums
- Gums that have pulled away from the teeth
- Persistent bad breath
- Loose teeth
- Pus between the teeth and gums
- Pain when chewing
- Changes in the way your teeth fit together when you bite
- A change in the way your partial dentures fit
Types of Periodontal Therapy
Scaling and Root Planing
This is a non-surgical procedure performed by our dentist in Memphis, TN, to remove plaque and tartar from the tooth surfaces (scaling). The dentist then smoothes the root surfaces (root planing) to remove bacteria and promote the healing of the gums. It's a standard treatment for mild to moderate gum disease.
After scaling and root planing, regular follow-up appointments, known as periodontal maintenance, are necessary. During these appointments, the dentist or dental hygienist thoroughly cleans the teeth and gums, monitors the healing process, and provides personalized oral hygiene instructions.
Antibiotics, in the form of mouth rinses, gels, or oral tablets, can be prescribed to control bacterial infection in the gums. They are often used with scaling and root planing for more effective results.
Laser-assisted periodontal therapy uses laser technology to remove infected tissue and bacteria, promoting the healing of the gums and potentially reducing the need for traditional surgery.
Pocket Reduction Surgery
In cases where deep pockets have formed between the teeth and gums due to gum disease, pocket reduction surgery is performed to eliminate these pockets and promote better oral health.
In cases where gum disease has led to bone loss around the teeth, bone grafts can be performed to regenerate lost bone tissue. This procedure can help stabilize teeth, improve their appearance, and enhance oral health.
Visit J. Whitley Wills, DDS, at 59 S Idlewild St., Memphis, TN 38104, or call (901) 726-9525 for a thorough evaluation and personalized treatment plan tailored to your needs. Early intervention and proper periodontal care can help manage gum disease effectively and prevent complications such as tooth loss and systemic health issues.