Periodontal disease (commonly known as gum disease) is an infection of the tissues surrounding and supporting your teeth. Gum disease is caused by plaque and is often painless, so you might not realize you have it. If left untreated, the disease can lead to severe tooth damage or loss and may adversely affect your overall health. That’s one reason why it’s important to have regular dental checkups and cleanings. At your office visit, we’ll assess your oral health and if we find that you have gum disease, Dr. Altomonte and the dental hygienist will use the most up-to-date techniques to restore your dental health and help you control the disease and prevent it from worsening.
HOW IS GUM DISEASE TREATED?
After assessing what type of gum disease you have and how far it has progressed, Dr. Altomonte and the dental hygienist will determine the best treatment plan.
In the early stage of gum disease, called gingivitis, you might notice gum swelling, red gums and frequent bleeding of your gums. Dr. Altomonte can detect gingivitis at your regular dental checkup and eliminate it before it becomes more severe. At this stage, he can treat gingivitis with a specialized cleaning. This cleaning, followed by your thorough daily brushing and flossing, often completely eliminates gingivitis.
Gum disease that is more advanced is called periodontitis. At this stage, gum disease can cause tissue and bone loss, leaving the teeth with less-than-optimal support. You may feel your teeth becoming loose as the disease progresses over time. If you have loose teeth, it’s important to have Dr. Altomonte evaluate the cause as soon as possible so he can recommend the treatment most likely to preserve your teeth. Most often, the disease progression can be controlled by providing the patient with root planings (RPQ – root planing per quadrant), a procedure performed by the hygienist.