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Periodontal (Gum) Disease Detection and Treatment

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The clinical term for “gum disease” is periodontal disease. Unfortunately, periodontal disease is common and is believed to affect around 75% of the U.S. population. The good news is that it can easily be diagnosed with a combination of gum measurements, x-rays, and a visual exam. Periodontal disease can frequently be treated with non-surgical options if caught early enough. Some of the symptoms of gum disease include puffy, bleeding gums, receding gums, loose teeth and bad breath. A comprehensive periodontal evaluation will be done by Scottsdale dentist, Dr. Gore to determine if you have periodontal disease and if so, how advanced it is. Depending on the severity of the disease, many treatments can be performed as the first line of defense in our office. In advanced cases, a periodontist (a gum specialist) will be involved in treating a few, or several areas that may require surgery. Our goal is to identify the disease in the early stages to arrest the progression. If you are diagnosed with periodontal disease, these are some of the highly effective treatments our providers may recommend to help you:

  • Scaling and Root Planing:  a non-surgical “deep cleaning” for patients who have been diagnosed with periodontal disease. This type of treatment removes calculus (harden, mineralized plaque) that is buried below the gum line, on the root surfaces and removes bacteria that are contributing to the disease. Calculus acts similarly to the way a splinter in your skin would. It creates localized irritation resulting in inflammation, bleeding, and harbors harmful bacteria.  This treatment may take 1 – 4 appointments to complete. After scaling and root planing, Dr. Gore may also prescribe an oral antibiotic and/or an antibacterial mouthwash to help aid in healing and keep harmful bacteria at bay while the gums heal.
  • Laser Gum Therapy: a painless, non-invasive treatment that assists in reducing harmful bacteria that are thriving in the space between your tooth and your gums called a ‘pocket’.  It also helps in healing following your cleaning. Laser gum therapy has proven to be a very beneficial weapon in fighting periodontal disease
  • Arrestin:  a powerful antibiotic pellet that is gently placed into the pockets (the space between the gum tissue and the tooth) where infection is present. This antibiotic will immediately start eliminating the harmful bacteria that causes the infection associated with periodontal disease. This bacteria is responsible for destroying vital gum and bone tissue which, untreated, eventually leads to tooth loss.

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What to Expect

There are a wide array of treatment options for periodontal disease to help ensure that each patient receives the proper care. One of the more common forms of treatment used is a non-surgical procedure known as scaling and root planing. Scaling removes tarter and plaque from the area below the gum line while root planing creates a smoother root and gum surface. Antibiotics may also be used to help alleviate pain and inflammation. Surgical procedures for more severe forms of periodontal disease include: gum graft surgery, laser gum surgery, regenerative procedures, and pocket reduction procedures.

Treatment Aftercare

It is important to maintain healthy dental care practices to help prevent periodontal disease. This means creating or continuing a good oral hygiene routine as well as implementing suggestions given by the dentist. The dentist may suggest scheduling routine, annual check-ups and examinations, as well as bi-annual cleanings. Patients should also implement common oral care practices into their routines such as flossing, brushing twice a day, and using mouthwash.

Anticipated Costs

The cost of the periodontal examination is included in the cost of the patient’s annual dental exam. The cost for treating gum disease will vary based on the severity of the disease and the treatment used. Patients can discuss treatment options during their consultation to receive information on costs

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Catch Gum Disease Early

If you have been diagnosed with or think you may have symptoms as a result of periodontal disease, contact our office today to schedule a consultation. With our experienced team, we will find a treatment that is suitable for your condition and restore your mouth back to optimal

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