Without consistent oral hygiene at home, your teeth can develop cavities, but your gums can also fall victim to an infection called periodontal disease. Symptoms include bleeding, swelling, sensitivity, and left untreated, it ultimately leads to tooth loss. As a periodontal specialist, Dr. Hoop is able to address both minor and advanced cases of periodontal disease in our Naples practice using the most advanced and effective techniques. If any of the symptoms above sound familiar, contact Total Dental Solutions today to get your oral health back on track.
The bacteria responsible for periodontal disease not only damages the gums themselves, but the roots of the teeth and underlying jawbone as well. This is why periodontal disease is the number one cause of adult tooth loss in the U.S.! Plus, research has shown that patients with periodontal disease also tend to suffer from much higher rates of diabetes, heart disease, and Alzheimer’s disease compared to the general population. It’s believed that the oral bacteria is able to easily enter the bloodstream and cause harm everywhere else in the body.
The biggest risk factor for periodontal disease is a lack of proper oral hygiene, which allows harmful bacteria to build up in the mouth and the accumulation of tartar (hardened plaque) below the gum line. Other risk factors include:
The first line of defense against periodontal disease is usually a deep cleaning treatment referred to as scaling and root planing. First, all of the built-up plaque and tartar are removed from the roots of the teeth (scaling), and then the roots of the teeth are reshaped and smoothed (root planing). This helps the gums heal more quickly and gives plaque fewer areas to gather, lowering the risk of future infections.
We can apply a topical antibiotic to the gums to clean small, bacteria-filled pockets that develop during the later stages of periodontal disease. These are virtually impossible to clean with scaling, but we can apply a medicine called Arestin to the gums that quickly dries and then slowly dissolves, bathing the gums in a powerful antimicrobial agent. This allows the medicine to reach the bottom and cleanse even the deepest pockets.
Periodontal disease can often cause the gums to recede, or pull back from the teeth. This exposes the sensitive enamel around the roots, making it more prone to decay, plus this can make the teeth appear unnaturally long. Gum grafting involves Dr. Hoop taking a small portion of a patient’s oral tissue and using it to replace the areas where the gum line has receded. This reestablishes much needed protection for the teeth as well as gives someone a more attractive smile.