About Periodontal Disease
Periodontal (gum) disease is a common oral infection that damages the gum and bone tissues surrounding the teeth. Along with contributing to several health concerns, the condition is the primary cause of adult tooth loss. A number of factors can increase the risk or severity of gum disease; however, it is generally the result of disease-causing bacteria that reside with plaque deposits in the mouth. Since gum disease can be harmful to your oral and general health without possessional care, the team at ACE Dental of Harker Heights routinely screens for the condition at preventive care visits. Our skilled general dentists and team offer nonsurgical and surgical care to treat the stages of gum disease. To schedule a periodontal evaluation and preserve your oral health and wellness, please contact our Harker Heights, TX practice today.
The Stages of Gum Disease
There are three general stages of gum disease. The beginning stage, called gingivitis, results from a buildup of bacterial plaque around the gumline. Gingivitis does not damage the jawbone and can be completely resolved if treated at this point. Without care, gingivitis can develop into the periodontitis stage. It is at this point when the bone and periodontal fibers that help hold teeth in place start to break down and become irreversibly damaged. As the most severe stage of gum disease, advanced periodontitis is commonly characterized by loose teeth and tooth loss.
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Gum Disease Symptoms
Early detection is very important when it comes to periodontal disease. Though the condition affects a number of patients, many may not notice symptoms and might be unaware of its presence. For this reason, our Harker Heights, TX dentists recommend routine dental exams for all patients. Some of the most common signs and symptoms of gum disease are:
- Gums that bleed upon flossing or brushing
- Tender, inflamed, or swollen gums
- Receding gums or sensitive teeth
- Pus around the gumline
- Bad breath or a bad taste in the mouth
- Teeth that shift or feel loose
Apart from the oral effects of gum disease, the condition may also carry systemic health risks. Gum disease has been linked to a number of medical health concerns, such as diabetes, heart disease, stroke, and pregnancy concerns, along with several others.
How Is Periodontal Disease Treated?
During a gum disease screening, our team will measure the pocket-like spaces separating your teeth and gums (periodontal pockets). Digital x-rays will also be taken to view the level of bone supporting your teeth. If your gum measurements are over three millimeters in depth and/or we can see bone loss on your x-rays, gum disease will likely be diagnosed. Our experienced dentists recommend gum disease treatments based on the stage and severity of the condition. Gingivitis and periodontitis are often treated with nonsurgical procedures while cases of advanced periodontitis may be best addressed with a surgical solution. At ACE Dental of Harker Heights, we tailor gum disease treatments to help arrest the disease process and preserve your oral health and general wellness.
Maintaining Periodontal Health
Aftercare instructions will be provided following your gum disease treatment and will vary according to the type of procedure you received. Once your gum disease treatment is fully completed, our dentists may recommend a periodontal maintenance program to help manage your gum health and keep the disease from advancing. Periodontal maintenance visits, which include thorough dental cleanings and periodontal evaluations, are typically scheduled every 3 – 4 months and are designed to help keep bacteria and plaque to a minimum. We also encourage you to maintain good oral hygiene at home each day to help keep your gums and teeth healthy.
Will Insurance Cover Periodontal Care?
Nonsurgical and surgical gum disease treatments may be covered, at least in part, under some dental insurance plans. A member of our billing team will contact your provider ahead of time and determine any out-of-pocket treatment costs. The team at ACE Dental of Harker Heights wants all patients to have access to periodontal care, if needed, and accepts a range of affordable payment methods. We can even assist you in exploring flexible financing options and other convenient solutions.
Protect Your Smile From Gum Disease
Keep gum disease and its effects from impacting your smile, oral health, and well-being with professional, compassionate care. Our Harker Heights, TX team takes a proactive approach to identify periodontal conditions as early as possible and offers treatment options to help prevent its progression. Reserve your periodontal evaluation and dental exam visit at ACE Dental of Harker Heights today, and let our team help protect your smile and health from gum disease.
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