What Is Periodontal Disease?
Periodontal (gum) disease is a common yet serious inflammatory condition caused by bacterial accumulation within the oral plaque that affects gum and jawbone health. As a progressive infection, there are several stages of periodontal disease that range from mild to severe. The first phase is gingivitis, which is caused by a buildup of plaque bacteria around the gum tissues. Without treatment, gingivitis can develop into the next stage of gum disease, known as periodontitis. It is in this phase that the bone and fibers that hold your teeth in place begin to break down, affecting the very structures that hold your teeth in place. Advanced periodontitis is the final stage of gum disease, which is characterized by further bone loss, loose teeth, and often tooth loss. Our general dentists and team at Advanced Dentistry of Centre County routinely screen for the presence of gum disease and offer periodontal treatments to treat the condition. If you think gum disease may be placing your health and smile at risk, please call our State College, PA practice today and schedule a periodontal disease screening.
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Signs and Symptoms of Gum Disease
Millions of people have gum disease yet some are completely unaware of its impact on their oral health. Since the condition may be difficult to detect on your own, it is important to schedule regular dental examinations at Advanced Dentistry. This gives our dentists and team a chance to screen for the condition and treat any areas of concern before it causes damage to your smile and oral health. Gum disease has also been linked to a growing number of oral health conditions, such as heart disease and stroke, Type 2 diabetes, pregnancy concerns, and memory loss, along with several others. Common signs and symptoms of gum disease include:
- Swollen, tender, or red gums
- Bleeding upon brushing or flossing
- Receding gumline and tooth sensitivity
- Chronic bad breath (halitosis) or taste
- Bone loss and tooth mobility
- Pus accumulation around the teeth
How Is Periodontal Disease Treated?
Gum disease is diagnosed through a screening process that involves measuring the spaces between your gums and teeth (periodontal pocket measurements) and identifying any areas of bone loss on dental x-rays. If our dentists determine you have periodontal disease, they will recommend treatment options based on the severity of your condition. Gingivitis is generally treated with a thorough dental cleaning and improved brushing and flossing habits while periodontitis is often addressed with nonsurgical scaling and root planing therapy. In cases of advanced periodontitis, our dentists may recommend osseous (flap) surgery and bone grafting to restore bone damaged during the disease process.
Maintaining Periodontal Health
The recovery period following gum disease treatment will vary according to the extent of your condition and treatment performed. After your gum health is restored, our dentists may recommend a periodontal maintenance program to help you better control harmful plaque and bacteria and keep the condition from advancing. Periodontal maintenance visits are scheduled every 3 – 4 months and include exams, thorough dental cleanings, and close management of your periodontal condition to help preserve your oral and general health. Keeping up with daily brushing, flossing, and meticulous oral hygiene at home is also essential in preventing future flare-ups of active gum disease.
Insurance Coverage for Periodontal Needs
Coverage for periodontal disease treatment will vary based on the type of procedures performed to treat the condition. Our financial coordinator will contact your insurance company to determine what your plan covers and help you maximize your benefits. Advanced Dentistry is a provider for the Nittany Dental Network, among other insurance plans, and accepts a range of convenient payment solutions to help you cover any personal costs.
Timely Treatment Is Key
Gum disease can worsen and lead to loose teeth, tooth loss, and even systemic health issues without proper and timely treatment. At Advanced Dentistry, our dentists and team routinely screen for periodontal disease and offer personalized care to help you reestablish a healthy smile. For more information or to schedule an appointment, contact our office in State College, PA today!