What Is Periodontal Disease?
When most people think of a beautiful smile, they think about white teeth free of decay. However, your gums are equally important to your oral health, both aesthetically and functionally. For this reason, periodontal (gum) disease is a serious oral health issue that can drastically affect your smile. At Pine Belt Periodontics, PLLC, we specialize in the prevention, diagnosis, and treatment of periodontal disease, because we want our patients to maintain a healthy, dazzling smile!
The first and most common form of periodontal disease is known as gingivitis. This beginning stage of the disease is characterized by gums that are swollen and red. Unfortunately, the symptoms of gingivitis are subtle and can progress slowly. If you suffer from gingivitis, your gums may also bleed easily during brushing and flossing.
Gingivitis can be treated and reversed with professional dental care and improvements to your daily oral hygiene routine. If gingivitis is left unchecked, it will ultimately progress to the second stage of gum disease, periodontitis.
Periodontitis is a much more serious and detrimental form of gum disease. At this stage, your gums may begin to recede, and the infection will spread deeper into your gums and underlying bone. Periodontitis also causes deep periodontal pockets, spaces between your teeth, and gums that can trap food debris and bacteria.
Eventually, periodontitis will cause irreversible damage to your tissues, increasing your risk of tooth loss. Periodontal disease is the leading cause of tooth loss in the United States.
What Causes Periodontal Disease?
Much like tooth decay, periodontal disease is caused by the harmful bacteria found in plaque, the sticky biofilm on our teeth. When plaque is allowed to build up, our immune system produces toxins to combat bacteria. Unfortunately, these toxins can contribute to the breakdown of gum tissue and bone.
The infection starts with the gums. It then spreads to all tissues that support your teeth. Without treatment, it can likely cause tooth loss for one or more teeth.
Treating Advanced Periodontal Disease
As a periodontist, Dr. Brian Pitfield specializes in treatments designed to prevent or reverse the effects of periodontal disease. While some of the damage to your tissues may be irreversible, our treatments can still get your periodontal health back on track. We provide surgical and non-surgical treatment for gum disease, including scaling and root planing, laser treatment, flap surgery, bone grafting, and gum grafting.
During the procedure, we use specialized instruments that allow us to remove the plaque and tartar (calcified plaque) from the surfaces of your teeth.
Schedule Your Appointment Today!
Maintaining proper periodontal health is one of the best ways to protect your smile! Call (601) 255-9929 to schedule your appointment today!