Non-Surgical Periodontal Therapy
How We Protect Your Gums and More
Over 75% of adult Americans have periodontal (gum) disease to some degree. This condition has oral and overall health implications which can be potentially devastating. Over time, periodontal disease can cause gum recession, the loss of supportive bone, and ultimately tooth loss. Even more alarming, the same specific bacteria associated with periodontal disease has also been linked with an increased risk of heart attack, stroke, diabetes, and dementia.
When examining your gums for periodontal disease, Dr. J. Lee Pettigrew will look at a variety of factors that could show signs of the infection. These include periodontal measurements, x-rays, the presence of gum bleeding, gum color, and texture. In addition, saliva testing can be done to determine which specific bacteria is causing a patient the disease.
Ideally, periodontal disease should be caught and treated early. This is why Dr. Pettigrew will always keep an eye on the health of your gums during your regular checkup. Earlier treatment is generally less invasive, creates better outcomes, and is more predictable. To keep your teeth for a lifetime, the gums must be kept healthy as well. This, in turn, can equate to better overall health because a healthy mouth equals a healthy body. If you do develop the condition, however, we are able to provide quick and effective treatment right here in Southlake.
Treatment for Periodontal Disease
Non-surgical periodontal therapy involves using very thin ultrasonic instruments to break up the buildup of plaque and bacteria along the gum line. Antibiotic therapy using a special antimicrobial can also help further sterilize the area and kill the offending bacteria.
For example, Arestin® is a broad spectrum antibiotic that is time released and can be targeted to specific areas of need. Systemic antibiotics can also be beneficial in certain situations. They are often needed to kill the more resistant bacteria. Repeated treatment is often necessary to assure that the bacterial infection has resolved and that the body has time to heal.
We can also use something called DNA saliva testing. It can be very beneficial in identifying the particular bacteria that is causing the infection and therefore determine which kind of antibiotics would work best.
This entire range of treatments often involves absolutely no injections. A powerful topical solution is typically used to numb the area that needs to be treated, and this will ensure that the procedure is entirely painless. This anesthetic will normally wear off in about 30-45 minutes, allowing a patient to quickly resume normal activity.
Do your gums appear red, swollen, or are they sensitive to the touch? Do they bleed whenever you clean your teeth? These are the early signs of periodontal disease, and to keep it from getting worse, you should come see us as soon as you can for treatment. By addressing it sooner rather than later, you’ll be saving your teeth from irreparable damage. To make an appointment, please contact our office today.