Periodontal Disease Treatment in Worcester, MA
Periodontal disease, which is also known as gum disease, is an infection that gradually affects the structures supporting your teeth. It often begins painlessly, with no discernible symptoms. In fact, most patients struggling with periodontal disease don’t even know they have it until their dentist makes the diagnosis.
What Causes Periodontal Disease?
Periodontal disease is caused in part by bacteria. When harmful bacteria collect on the surfaces of teeth, a colorless film called plaque begins to form. If bacterial plaque isn’t removed through brushing, flossing, and routine dental cleanings, an infection will develop. Plaque can quickly combine with minerals and salts in your mouth to form a harder substances called tartar or calculus. Tartar is too tough to be removed with brushing and flossing at home; it must be treated by a dental professional.
What Is Periodontitis?
In addition to spawning plaque and tartar, the bacteria in our mouths produce toxins that trigger an immune response in the gum tissue. Gums may appear red or swollen, and bleed when you brush. If periodontal disease is treated early, it’s reversible. If it’s not treated early, bacterial toxins can advance over the surfaces of teeth to affect the bone beneath. This advanced, destructive form of periodontal disease is called periodontitis.
Advanced periodontitis can cause teeth to feel loose and eventually cause tooth loss. In fact, periodontal disease is responsible for more cases of tooth loss than decay.
Contributing factors that also affect your gum health include:
- Nutrition and medications
- Teeth grinding or clenching
- Family History
Recent data has also found that periodontal disease may put you at risk for various systemic conditions, including:
- Heart disease
- Respiratory disease
- Premature delivery or low birth weight pregnancy
Scaling & Root Planing
Depending on the status of your gum health, it may be necessary for us to perform scaling and root planing as a way to avoid more serious periodontal disease or even treat advancing plaque and tartar that has spread beneath the gum line. As a non-surgical treatment, it is one of the most commonly used methods of treatments periodontists and dentists use to curb the negative effects of periodontal disease while also improving gum health.
Periodontal Disease FAQs
Whether you are currently facing the reality of having periodontal disease (gum disease) or you simply want to know what to do to avoid this common dental problem, you likely have a host of questions you would like to ask our team. At Handsman & Haddad Periodontics, P.C. your periodontist in Worcester believes in providing transparent, honest advice and information to patients, which is why we’ve compiled some FAQs about periodontal disease. If at any point you need clarification or have additional inquires, we invite you to contact our office.
How can I avoid periodontal disease?
The most effective way to avoid bad bacteria from attacking your gums is to maintain a good oral hygiene regime. This includes brushing twice daily for two minutes using a soft-bristled toothbrush and fluoride toothpaste as well as flossing before bed and rinsing with an ADA-approved mouthwash. It is also beneficial if you stop smoking and avoid eating too many sugary or starchy foods, as these can easily stick to your teeth and cause bacteria to eat away at the tooth enamel and plaque to accumulate around your gum line.
Will it hurt to undergo periodontal therapy?
It’s important to know that no matter how your periodontist decides to treat your gum disease, your comfort and safety are of the utmost importance. Whether we opt for scaling and root planing or gum/soft tissue grafting, you will receive a numbing agent that will help to keep you comfortable and avoid feeling any discomfort during the treatment process.
It is natural for your gums to feel tender and sore after both a surgical and non-surgical procedure, so if you’re prescribed an antibiotic or any other form of medication, make sure to take it as directed.
What happens if my teeth cannot be saved?
If your periodontal disease in Worcester has progressed beyond the point of being able to save your teeth, it will be necessary for us to extract these teeth and allow you to heal completely. Once your gums and bone are in better condition, we can begin discussions regarding tooth replacement. No matter if it is dental implants or Teeth in a Day, our team can identify the right treatment solution for you so that you can return to enjoying a full, complete smile once again.
Will my dental insurance cover gum disease therapy?
When looking at the financial side of periodontal therapy, you may be wondering how much your out of pocket costs will be. Fortunately, most dental insurance companies cover, in some capacity, treatment for gum disease. The level of coverage is based on your individual plan, so you will need to contact a representative from your insurance company to find out how much of your treatment will be paid for by them versus how much will be your responsibility.
No matter the result, our team can help to find other ways you can stay within your budget and make manageable payments to receive the care you need.